Product Type
Application Area
Lighting Effect
Product Type
Application Area
Lighting Effect

Hut 11a - The Bombe Breakthrough

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Since January 2018, a permanent exhibition has been installed at Bletchley Park, which during the Second World War was the central site for British codebreakers and the Government Code and Cypher School. This exhibition recounts what went on at the base, and the men and women who cracked numerous secret codes used by the Germans during the Second World War, the most famous of which was the Enigma code. Commander Alastair Denniston was operational head of GC&CS from 1919 to 1942 and his decision to create a team of codebreakers from a wide variety of backgrounds proved highly successful. This eclectic group included linguists, historians, chess champions crossword solvers and even an expert in papyrology. When Denniston realised that the Germans were using electromechanical cipher machines, he also recruited some of Britain’s leading mathematicians. In 1939, Alan Turing, a mathematician who had been teaching at Cambridge, joined the team. His role was to fine-tune a machine called the Bombe that would decrypt the Enigma code. The story of Turing’s fascinating struggle to decipher the code are the subject of the film “The Imitation Game”, which won an Oscar in 2015 for the Best Adapted Screenplay. At Bletchley Park, the various work groups were divided up into what were called Huts. The first version of Bombe was assembled in Hut 11 and it is here that Alan Turing worked. The architects from the Nissen Richard Studio in collaboration with the lighting designers from Studio NZA have created an exhibition space, here, in which the visitor is immersed in history and can even touch the exhibits, like the Bombe and the iconographic installation next to it that includes infographics, diagrams and touchscreen applications. The accent lighting is based on a temperature of 3000 K, created by Palco projectors fitted with a 14° spot optic and mounted on Low Voltage tracks installed on special metal frames. The resulting atmosphere is intimate and inspires concentration thanks to the low lighting levels integrated with accent lighting on the key exhibits.


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  • Year
    2018
  • Client
    Bletchley Park
  • Architectural project:
    Nissen Richards Studio
  • Lighting project:
    Studio ZNA
  • Photographer
    Gavriilux - Gavriil Papadiotis

Project Quote

"We worked closely with the designer Nissen Richards Studio to develop a lighting strategy that was coherent with the design intents and to realize a lighting scheme that could enrich the visitor journey, punctuating the rhythm of the space and at the same time giving maximum focus to the displays whist adhering to strict conservation lux level on some of the more vulnerable objects."

Studio ZNA