One of the largest-ever museum redevelopments in the UK will be opened on 29 July when the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh reveals its spectacularly redeveloped Victorian galleries.


The aim is to take visitors on an inspiring journey through cultures across the world, the wonders of nature and the excitement of science and discovery. Displays include 8,000 newly selected objects from the museum’s extensive collections.


The Museum was founded in the mid-19th century and has its roots in the spirit of the Scottish Enlightenment. When it opened its first bespoke buildings in 1866, it reflected Victorian ideals of education and sought to show the world under one roof.


Visitors to the new museum begin their journey in the atmospheric new street level vaulted entrance hall, then progress to the stunning Grand Gallery atrium, which has a range of spectacular large objects at floor level, including a marble statue of engineer James Watt and a lighthouse optic designed by the Stevenson dynasty.


The museum’s single largest installation is the Window on the World, a soaring display of over 800 objects which rises up over four storeys. It gives a foretaste of the inspiring themes in the galleries beyond; from the jaws of a spermwhale inscribed with the largest ‘scrimshaw’ carving in the world to the Pembridge helm, one of only four surviving 13th century knight’s helmets.


The Discoveries gallery tells the story of pioneering Scots who have revolutionised the modern world, including Sir Alexander Fleming, James Watt, Charles Darwin and John Logie Baird.


In the galleries of the natural world hundreds of zoological and geological specimens are displayed, ranging from a 4.5 billion year old meteorite from Mars that has been extensively researched for signs of life, to a breathtaking wildlife panorama suspended in mid air, a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a great white shark.


Finally, the world cultures galleries give an insight into the lives and cultures of people across the world. They display internationally important artefacts and outline some of the stories behind the early collections.


The redesign is the work of award-winning practice Gareth Hoskins Architects and international exhibition designer Ralph Appelbaum.