Unlocking the Lock



Lough Neagh Partnership


Exhibition design

The project involved the conversion of a former lock keepers cottage in the village of Toome at the northern tip of Lough Neagh to a heritage facility with cafe.


The exhibition we developed told the history of the Lough and the River Bann and how they evolved into the main canal hub in Ireland in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It promoted the heritage of the area to schools, community groups, tour groups, families and all who visit the Toome area and canal walkway.  It also acted as gateway to other places of interest in the environs of Lough Neagh as a whole.


We identified a series of 5 key themes and used these as a basis for zoning the exhibition. To maximise the use of the space available 3D visuals were used to approve the interpretive plan. Each zone was given a different identity through the use of bold graphics and bright colours.


To engage with young people and to deliver the exhibitions educational remit four interactive stations were installed.


  • A ball bearing maze explaining how a lock gate works.


  • A magnification table showing the fascinating forms of the microscopic particles that makes up Diatomite


  • An identify-the-species magnetic bird, puzzle board.


  • A Seamus Heaney inspired poetry wall on which visitor could record their experiences.


Despite a tight budget and short programme the project was completed on time, and has been well received.


Agency services

- Project management

- Concept development

- Historical research

- Picture research

- Graphic design

- Cartography

- Interactive design