Worldwide AV company ‘Electrosonic’ realise vision of ‘English heritage’
Permitting visitors to see inside stonehenge ancient stone circle.
Panasonic PT-DZ770 projectors reproduce immersive images of internationally recognised monument.
According to Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, the UK Government's statutory adviser and consultative organisation for all aspects of the historic environment and its heritage assets, it’s taken no less than 85 years to make a decision on exactly what to do with Stonehenge. The prehistoric monument is an internationally recognised symbol of early Neolithic man but, last Wednesday 18th December marked the opening of a brand new visitor experience centre which will enable people from all around the world to see and feel closer to the stone circle than was previously possible.
For the first time, visitors will have a proper introduction to one of the world's most important prehistoric monuments at the new Stonehenge exhibition and visitor centre which is inside a sensitively designed modern building located just over a mile away from the monument. 250 plus objects of international importance are on display inside, and whilst the reconstructed face of an Early Neolithic man is one of the centres stunning highlights, a 360 degree screen inside a 10 meter diameter auditorium will allow visitors to see inside the stone circle and feel almost exactly as if they were there, surrounded by the stones, whilst another feature will display an aerial view, looking down on the land highlighting historically and archaeological important features of the site. Whilst protecting Stonehenge from harm that could be caused by visitors entering the site, the experiential nature of the audio visual features will add a great degree of educational benefit.
Electrosonic founded in 1964, was the worldwide audio-visual company tasked to come up with the innovative solution to realise the goals and AV aspects of the visitor centre. Chris Hurst, Project Manager of the experience explained “with our extensive experience in designing, project managing, engineering and supporting AV solutions we needed to create a way to apply technology to deliver a sense of being right there” Richard Padun, Sales Manager at Panasonic was forthcoming to recommend projection to create an ‘edge blended’ solution. A total of nine PT-DZ770 projectors create “an immersive experience where images from separate camera views are melded to create an surrounding image inside the circular room”. Hurst enthused “the results are truly impressive with a seamless experience for every visitor, we are using a 7th Sense server to feed high definition images which were previously captured by a privileged camera crew onto the curved surfaces of the wall”.
The results are stunning. Richard Padun commented “We’ve seen some incredible and truly innovative applications of edge blending, mapping and geometric adjustment of images in recent success stories such as the Roger Waters the Wall Live tour and even at last year’s Olympic Games but this being such an important asset of British heritage makes me and everyone at Panasonic proud to have offer visitors from the UK and around the globe something truly special”. Panasonic projectors elsewhere inside the building show a bird’s eye view of the site, a less often seen but equally fascinating view of everything that makes Stonehenge a special place in our country and for the world to see.