In the former train station building in Krosno, a very special place has been created – ETNOCENTRE of the Krosno Region. It is not only a museum showing the history of the region, but also a space for workshops and sharing the knowledge about the local culture, a game room, a place for dancing and karakoke, a theatre, cooking school and relaxation zone.
The main aim of the museum was to protect the cultural heritage of the region and its utilisation for the cultural and educational development.
It was a challenge to combine the main aim of the centre – tribute to the traditional culture of Krosno – with a new, modern feel achi. It was also an important task for us to maximise the potential and attractiveness of the location where ETNOcentre has been created – a historic XIX century train station – with protection of its heritage and historical value.
Just before the journey at the ETNOcentre starts, the first exhibit is welcoming the visitors – it is a hut traditional in Pogorze region. This attraction is addressed at the youngest members of the audience and introduces all visitors to the atmosphere of a local village.
ETNOCENTRUM is located in a historic XIX-century train station building and many elements of the exhibition refer to its primary purpose. When entering the basement, visitors will find themselves at the platform from the turn of the XIX and XX century, where they can experience a virtual train ride. Visitors can await their journey while sitting on stylish benches with typical roof at the platform as well. The atmosphere of the train journey is achieved by photographic wallpapers and a video-mapping presentation on the walls – achieved by a 7000 lumen projector which shows views of the Krosno region and its neighbourhood. Sound effects play an important role in this presentation, as they imitate the sound of the running train. Specially programmed lighting, integrated with the video-mapping, changes the day trip into a night one and the train also goes through a tunnel.
ETNOcentre offers visitors a ride not only on a historic train, but also on a traditional cart. In the space next to the train platform, there is a cart model that can be boarded by the visitors to take a virtual journey through the legends of Podkarpacie. Visitors can watch a multimedia presentation on a 46’’ display screen, combi. Cart vibrations and various smells change their intensity to enhance the visitors experience in each part of the trip.
Next space available to the visitors is a game room, where they will find three interactive stations with display screens and ‘Kinect’ cameras with movement tracking. The games are teaching about the house work of the folk from the old days and transfer the visitors to the world of historic countryside.
There is a large room at the ground floor that has two main functions: workshops and conferencing. Thanks to a moveable walls system, the space can be used as one, or as two smaller rooms. There are projector and screen installed in the space for various content presentation and professional speakers ensure high quality sound. Apart from multimedia elements, there are also props and furniture useful in workshops for children.
There is also a smaller workshop room available at the ETNOcentre – apart from necessary workshop tools, there is also an interactive 55” table with a „multitouch” layer. By using a dedicated app, users can select embroidery and decorations to design and create their own table cloth or runner.
Next space in the visitors’ journey is a hut chamber from the early XX century. This space is used mainly for culinary workshops so there is a bread baking oven located in the centre of the room. An important element of the visit here is a video-mapping on the workshop table – thanks to four projectors pointed downwards, an animated movie is showing a cooking process of various local dishes.
Visitors will also find a place to rest and relax at the ETNOcentre. A space with images of the fields on the walls and comfortable seating is perfect to catch a breath before the next phase of the journey through the exhibition.
ETNOcentre offers not only cooking classess but dancing ones too! These take place in a specially prepared space decorated as a regional home – cladding made of bleached boards, wooden floor and characteristic ornaments with macrame, all create a very special atmosphere. One of the walls is used as a screen where visitors can watch a movie showing traditional dances and a tutorial with steps.
Once regional dancing is done, it’s time for singing! A guest chamber is allocated for a karaoke and singing workshops. A dedicated app offers 30 songs to choose from and lyrics with music notation, which are presented on a 55’’ LCD display screen. A set of speakers offers great quality of sound in all corners of the room. As there are artistic performances, there must also be a professional stage lighting set. This ETNOkaraoke is special not just due to the high quality of audio-visual technology, but also due to the characteristic atmosphere of Pogórze, enhanced by a specific interior design and arrangement. The space is made to look like a guest chamber with a massive oak table, cupboard with porcelain tableware, altar of St. Mary decorated with flowers, etc. This is a great example of how sacrum & profane penetrated each other in homes during interwar and post-war periods.
Do you know what „yard” used to mean? In some regions of southern Poland this was used to describe a courtyard or a field, which is very important for the local folk – so it received a significant space at the ETNOcentre. Farmyard is presented in a movie shown on the walls by two multimedia projectors. Thanks to specifically selected sound system, the visitor can feel like standing in the middle of such yard!
ETNOcentre also serves as a space for lectures, shows, theatre plays, training sessions and conferences to fulfil its role as a cultural centre for local community and businesses. This space is called “a theatre At The Attic” and has a projection screen installed on the wall just opposite the entrance, for great quality multimedia presentations. There is also a raised staging in front of the screen, with a good amount of comfortable chairs for spectators, professional stage sound and lighting system.
Additional attraction for visitors is offered by a virtual changing room. It is an interactive station, where modern technology allows the visitors to virtually „try on” their selected folk costume and see the result on a display screen. Do not forget about a museum shop where visitors can buy souvenirs from their visit at this unique place.
ETNOcentre is a fantastic proof that technology can harmonise with folk, traditional culture and etnography. By implementing numerous relevant multimedia solutions, we managed to emphasise the value of the Krosno heritage, without changing its unique character. Visitors can feel as if they travelled in time to early XX century, thanks to special architecture, interior design and scenography of the ETNOcentre. It is worth mentioning that some of those experiences would not be made possible without the specific technology – how could you take a ride on a XIX-century train?
Our implementation in the ETNOcentre of the Krosno Region shows that audio-visual technology supports not only visitors’ experience through their exhibition journey, but also local community, event organisers, their delegates and guests, during culinary, dancing and singing workshops or theatre plays. It is omnipresent in the promotion of the regional culture and its traditional character.
Technology also makes a building more versatile and able to respond to the needs of various stakeholders, local businesses, community, artists and conference organisers – by offering a perfect venue for teambuilding, children workshops, artistic performances, karaoke and many more.