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Sumburgh WWII Radar Hut

The site hosted gun placements and radar equipment, as well as army personnel working at the secret site. Leach Studio undertook the task of designing the reconstructed radar hut interior to show how it would have looked during its operative years.

We sourced artefacts from the age to dress the space and worked with external stakeholders, such as the RAF Radar Museum in Norfolk, to create a realistic representation of a specific date related to a key enemy raid – April 8, 1940.

We collaborated with three families to obtain exclusive material to allow the radar’s story to be told by the men who worked there and a young woman who lived at the lighthouse with her keeper father. Copies of original family documents, photographs and drawings related to the hut were integrated into the storytelling. An audio soundscape to create atmosphere of the era is tripped when the visitor enters to the space. The emotive audio included interview sound bites from the lightkeeper’s daughter mixed with wartime songs, ringing telephone, passing planes, air raid siren and the tapping of typewriter stalks.

To achieve a correct representation, we worked closely with the curatorial team at Shetland Museum & Archives. They gave advice to inform our purchases and suggested new items which reflected the unique island setting.


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