Group Delphi Honors Chamorro Cultural History in Guam Museum Exhibit


What do you do when a client chooses you to realize a project that was launched almost a century ago? You thank them, step in, and get cracking. Group Delphi recently did just this as the fabrication partner for the Guam Museum, a 3,000 square foot, two-story space 90 years in the making.

The idea for the project came in 1926, when Dr. Ramon Sablan, a local doctor and teacher, asked the people of Guam to start collecting items for a museum to protect their Chamorro culture. When these cultural artifacts were completely destroyed and pillaged during World War II, the Guam Women’s Club stepped in. They opened a new version of the museum in 1954, initiating a decades-long march to a new museum.

Over the years, the artifacts moved to a new house and then an exhibition hall. In 2005, an executive order by Governor Felix Camacho created the Guam Museum Facilities Construction and Cultural Heritage Task Force, bringing a country’s history closer to a permanent home.

Enter Group Delphi. In 2013, we stepped up to fully realize the already in-process design. In order to tell the stories of the people of Guam, we designed a space providing interactive vignettes for museum visitors. Over a five-year period, in partnership with the museum and their internal design team, the Galaide Group, we handled everything from negotiating rates with local government bodies to managing local subcontractors.

The Guam Museum takes visitors on a journey of the island and its people. When you enter the building, you’ll see a dramatic façade of an open book, pulling visitors through exhibits featuring graphics, custom content, and audio-visual treatments. These culminate in a theater room with a 180-degree, curved-screen blending video from three projectors.

The team for this project also took pains to use authentic materials for the build. For example, bamboo shoots support graphics printed on Plyboo, a bamboo plywood product.

Honoring the nearly century-old wishes of Dr. Sablan and others, we worked to bring the rich history of Guam to life. The President of the Department of Chamorro Affairs, Johnny Sablan, notes of the museum, “When you go into the permanent exhibit, you will see [their] journey.”

Do you have an upcoming exhibit or installation project on the horizon? Connect with our experienced museum team here!

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