The Natural History Museum reveals a new-look Hintze Hall which features a stunning 25.2 metre blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling and spectacularly diving into the space. This is part of the museum’s biggest transformation it its 136 year history which includes hundreds of new specimens which have been chosen to celebrate the wonder and beauty of the natural world, from the origins of the universe, to the story of evolution and the diversity in the world today. Ten choice specimens have also been arranged in ground floor alcoves – known as Wonder Bays – including a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite and a Mantellisaurus skeleton.
The new installation provides event guests with a truly unique opportunity to dine directly underneath the sweeping blue whale skeleton, complete with its own stunning lighting display designed by White Light.
The launch event invited 1,100 guests including royalty, secretaries of state, industry leaders as well as celebrities to celebrate the spectacular re-opening of Hintze Hall. Guests were treated to an immersive experience on arrival including an ocean-inspired star cloth draping a walk-through tunnel, with smells and sounds of the sea. The guest journey continued through a mist curtain into Hintze Hall, immediately experiencing the grandeur of the new blue whale skeleton, under which was a sea scape with caterers Rhubarb providing cocktails and food. The ‘Giraffe’s Playground’ area offered vegetarian delights whilst the ‘Dinosaurs Dessert Station’, inspired by Wonka in which, including the smouldering volcano, is edible. The Museum’s scientists were on hand to answer guests’ questions and encourage them to engage with the new collections in the Wonder Bays. Speeches were delivered by the Museum’s Chair, Director and special guests including Sir David Attenborough. The evening was punctuated by a specially commissioned musical piece performed by a 14-piece orchestra from the London Contemporary Orchestra, a solo performed by Sir Thomas Allen and culminated by a light show created by White Light.
Robert Wetherell, head of venue hire, said:
“This is a hugely exciting development for The Natural History Museum and we cannot wait to see the look on our guests’ faces when they see the Whale for the first time, it is an awe-inspiring new centrepiece for the space.
We’re looking forward to welcoming back existing clients as well as a new wave of event visitors. The renovation gives us the opportunity to provide a host of fantastic new event experiences, including our newly launched ‘Talks and Tours’ packages and dry hire availability as we look ahead to the Christmas party season.”
Hintze Hall, a prestigious space in which to hold dinners, awards ceremonies, product launches, fashion shows and private corporate events, has a capacity of 600 dinner guests or 1200 for a drinks reception. The overall capacity is boosted to 3000 guests when the whole museum is booked for exclusive use with Hintze Hall as the central venue.
The museum also has a wealth of smaller spaces for hire such as Fossil Way and Dinosaur Way, or Earth Hall, home to the world’s most complete Stegosaurus skeleton. Earth Hall holds up to 400 guests for a drinks reception with space for 200 guests to dine beneath the awe-inspiring Earth sculpture.
Newly-launched festive packages are available for Earth Hall which include arrival drinks, a choice of dinner options, unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks throughout and full production including lighting and DJ, cloakroom and full event management. Organisers can also add even more educational value to their events by gaining exclusive access to one of 350 scientists for an engaging talk or tour based on one of the museum’s extensive collections.
Check out the Natural History Museum’s Funky profile here.