National Army Museum

Crowd movement advice for the National Army Museum


The National Army Museum is a leading repository of information on the British Army and its exhibits reveal the British Army’s impact on society, past and present. The museum tells the story of the Army's role as protector, aggressor and peacekeeper from the British Civil Wars to the modern day. After a two year redevelopment programme, the Museum reopened its doors in March 2017. Movement Strategies was engaged as specialist people movement advisors to inform the extensive redesign process, ensuring that the needs of its visitors will be catered for to create a world-class visitor attraction and educational facility.





We developed an evidence based approach to the study, delivering objective design and operational management advice to the client team. 

Workstreams included:

  • Forecasting future visitor numbers and space requirements, including sufficient allocation of circulation, dwelling and queuing spaces;
  • Analysis of visitor demographics to predict expected movement patterns and behaviours on site, together with any associated wayfinding needs;
  • Visibility Analysis, using bespoke software, tools to determine how visitors will interact with the building layout and identify opportunities to improve its navigability and circulation;
  • Review and impact of the temporal nature of Museum events and visitor activity and how this can be effectively managed through physical design and operational processes to maximise overall user comfort and experience;
  • Coordination and engagement with wider design team and stakeholders (e.g. facilities management, curatorial team etc.) to secure their buy-in.


The study delivered valuable advice to the Museum, leading to significant design optimisations and future operational benefits.

Benefits included:

  • In-depth understanding of how museum visitors will use the site based on local desire lines and spatial influences
  • Subtle reconfiguration of spaces and circulation channels within the constraints of the building shell to improve visitor capacity and comfort, leading to improved visitor experience and Museum operation
  • Design interventions to optimise levels of natural, or ‘instinctive’, wayfinding to minimise signage requirements and therefore avoid unnecessary physical or visual clutter which would compromise the architectural vision and environment. For example, the reorientation of stairwells and the relocation of furniture to maximise visual fields and the effectiveness of other visual cues (e.g. architectural features, lighting, portals etc.)
  • Early insight into the Museum’s operational management opportunities to complement the overall circulation and visitor experience, including during temporary events or exhibitions when significant visitor numbers are expected. 

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