FOUR DOMES PAVILION
Designed by Hans Poelzig and built in 1912–1913, the Four Domes Pavilion is part of the exhibition space surrounding the Centennial Hall. In 2006, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and in 2009 it became a branch of the National Museum in Wrocław. Modernised in mid-2016, the Pavilion is to constitute a modern exhibition space. Its characteristic feature will be the use of innovative multimedia techniques and information and communication tools. Our firm has added a small building block to the museum’s reconstruction, providing AV equipment for two rooms in the entrance part of the building.
DESCRIPTION OF THE SOLUTION
The main challenge we faced was to achieve integration with existing systems and to adapt the design to the client’s requirements and rooms’ layout. We were asked to design and implement multimedia content referring to the nature of the future contemporary art exhibition. This entailed several changes in the design. We also had to use an unusual technology and an unorthodox approach to multimedia content production.
In the first room we created two vertical monitor walls, each consisting of five 55” monitors. The multimedia displayed on both walls are extracted by means of video players from a central CMS server that we have programmed. The devices connect to the server via LAN and download dedicated content. The multimedia are displayed in high quality and high resolution, providing visitors with a comfortable viewing experience. Two versions of the presentation have been prepared – one in Polish and the other in English and German at the same time. Each video wall will display a different language version of the multimedia. The sound system consists of sets which include an amplifier and two speakers. To ensure reliable operation, the system has been equipped with back-up video players.
In the second room, we have installed eight monitor stands on the room pillars. The vertically-mounted 55” monitors have been equipped with a touch foil that can support up to 10 touches as well as protective glass. Each of the stands is operated by means of a dedicated application. As in the case of monitor walls, multimedia are extracted from the server via LAN by means of a built-in video player. Creating an interactive game for eight stands was an interesting challenge. The “Maze” game takes users on a journey into the virtual world of contemporary art. They complete different tasks en route and gain knowledge by competing with others. Built in the three-dimensional space convention, the maze is a place where the figures controlled by individual players follow the same paths of the maze of knowledge and can see each other’s progress. The scenario of the game is divided into stages. At each stage players can learn what contemporary art is, but can also express their artistic side by creating collages and publishing them in the arts gallery. The game was developed in the Unity 3D technology, and thanks to network communication mechanisms it is a multi-player game in which up to eight persons can compete at the same time.
Wiring and AV devices in both rooms have been hidden in powder-coated steel casings designed to blend with the room style. Each monitor has been equipped with an additional safety glass.
We have also made is possible for Users to turn on and off and schedule devices in the system remotely, a functionality that was missing in the original version of the design prepared for tender purposes.
Even seemingly straightforward systems can cause several major problems during their implementation. This was also the case with the Four Domes Pavilion, but we managed to solve all the problems as they emerged, and finished our work on time. We hope that the system we have implemented will serve the visitors of the National Museum for years, introducing them to exhibition themes and providing them with some entertainment while they wait for starting the tour.