This Must Be The Place
Making Meanwhile Matter

Case Study: Royal Armouries: Dragons & Ladders

Armouries Square in Leeds Dock is the second largest public realm in the city and is home to Pizza Express, the Holiday Inn, New Dock Hall exhibition and event space and most importantly the Royal Armouries Museum - the city's most popular family attraction, yet it has never had any investment to make it a destination, a convoluted ownership structure has seen to that. Its overwhelming size, harsh, cold architecture and lack of purpose seems to discourage people and the Square has remained a source of frustration for all concerned parties and business tenants. 

We decided that with the school holidays approaching we needed to provide something engaging for the kids to do before or after a visit to the Museum so we approached the Armouries with a simple but effective way to bring life to the Square, encourage visits and increase dwell time. 

It was important for us to utilise and compliment existing assets, we used the grid structure set in the paving as the foundation of a Snakes & Ladders board that we modified to compliment the artefacts and showpieces from the Armouries Museum creating a giant medieval-themed game of Dragons & Ladders.

We worked closely with the Museum's Engagement Team to select key artefacts from the exhibitions and archives as well as develop fun Knight themed facts to bring an educational element to the experience.

We worked with local illustrators Buttercrumble to bring the project to life with a friendly aesthetic, outdoor media specialists Pop Art Media to produce and install the floor graphics that populated the board and Curiosity Allotment to create the central spinner.

Dragons & Ladders completely transformed Armouries Square from a lonely space into a vibrant, buzzing fun destination. It was so lovely to look out the windows and see so much fun being had. Feedback from our visitors was fantastic and you could see and hear that was the case. Thank you!
— Tristan Langlois, Head of Education & Events, Royal Armouries Museum
What a brilliant idea to combine a family favourite game, museum artefacts and the landscaping in the square to create such an engaging activity. Seeing the Square being used had a big effect on the people that call Leeds Dock home, be that residents or tenants, the feedback we had confirmed that.
— Tim Gee, Estate Director, Leeds Dock
My kids absolutely loved it! We spent almost as much time playing the game as we did in the Museum. And the educational element to it was a really nice touch.
— Katherine Reynolds, Leeds Mum

Allied London
Leeds Dock
Royal Armouries Musuem

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