Wat Tyler Country Park

125 acres of explosives, nature and interpretation




Film & animation

Signage & wayfinding

DOT designed a major permanent exhibition for the Heritage Lottery funded Wat Tyler Centre at Basildon'r Wat Tyler Country Park, themed around the industrial and environmental heritage of the park.

The exhibition began with the historical use of the site as an explosives factory at the end of the 19th Century, and moved on to explore the ways the land has been used since, notably as the Sea Transport Stores last active during the Suez crisis, then as a country park.

DOT developed the branding and visual identity for the park, establishing a house style that we used in the exhibition design, on promotional literature and a system of internal and external wayfinding and providing rich interpretation around a series of walking trails.

Along with graphic panels and murals, we designed and produced a series of custom digital and manual interactives, ranging from a nitroglycerin mixing hut where the roof blows off if you get the mix wrong, to an unexploded bomb you can de-fuze, to oral history listening posts based around inexpensive PDA touchscreens.

The natural history and sustainable development side of the exhibition features a strobe-driven 3D zoetrope that captures butterflies in slow-motion flight, along with a digital interactive where you can demolish a tower block.

Children move two trucks across a bumpy terrain, learning that nitroglycerin blows up much more readily than dynamite
Wat Tyler logo
Orientation signage on Wat Tyler's Village Green
Our mural traced the path of World War II Luftwaffe bombing raids along the Thames past the Wat Tyler site, picking out targets displayed alongside in a Luftwaffe pilot training film.
Features of the former explosives factory are interpreted by signage along the explosives trail
Interactives included a demonstration to show how dynamite was much safer to use than the nitroglycerine it replaced in mining and construction