The National Portrait Gallery

Family Activity Base Unit Design & Build


The brief described the Family Activity Base Unit (FAB) as being family friendly, a visible meeting point, intuitive, fully accessible, interactive and flexible. The FAB is used in three main gallery locations, depending on programme focus and other activities at the gallery, so as well as being portable, it also has to store away into a compact space when not in use. The FAB unit had to incorporate the galleries family visual identity branding as well as being hard wearing and portable.

We worked very closely with the learning team at The National Portrait Gallery to develop FAB.


The National Portrait Gallery appointed Paragon Creative for the design and build of the new FAB Unit. This is a bespoke piece of mobile furniture which acts as a dedicated welcome area for families and has been fitted out with materials, resources and activities for self-directed portrait based learning on site at weekends and during holidays.

The finished design was produced in solid surface to ensure that the unit was as durable as possible and met all client criteria.

Our Client: National Portrait Gallery, London   

Designed by: Hall & Hall

We are social

STAFF FOCUS: Tim DeCoste, Interactives Workshop Manager

Q: Name?
A: Tim DeCoste but they call me moose now there’s four Tims.

Q: What and where did you study?
A: Seaquam secondary school in my motherland of Canada. University didn’t seem challenging enough so I went to major in waterparks abroad.

Q: How long have you worked at Paragon Creative?
A: 3 years this month.

Q: What development / training have you undertaken since joining the team?
A: IOSH managing safely and the ever-important manual handling and fire warden training. And of course the sage mentoring of Jon Myers (Operations Director) and Chris Nuttall (Technical Director).

Q: Favourite Project to work on and why?
A: Dig It Dubai Springs. It was an achievable project that has resulted in a great success which is always a boost knowing the work our department put in to it, I’m sure others did OK as well. I also got to be involved in the installation, something I don’t often get to be a part of, luckily I still have my old work boots so I almost blended in seamlessly if not for my eloquent speaking and perfect hair.

Q: What do you like about working at Paragon?
A: Everyday poses a new challenge. It’s also close to home so that’s nice.

Q: Dream project to work on?
A: If we could do something ice hockey or maple syrup based I’d be very much in my comfort zone.

Q: What does your department do?
A: Builds big toys!
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2 days ago

Go moose eh 🤙

2 days ago   ·  1

No dad !!! Don’t make me wear it !!

2 days ago

Moose? You'll always be Diego to me

16 hours ago

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