“House & Home” at the National Building Museum

AV Technology Takes Visitors Back Home
Washington, D.C.

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The “House & Home” exhibition at the National Building Museum depicts the remarkable changes in domestic life over the centuries, and what it means to be at home in America. Ralph Appelbaum Associates designed the exhibition, and Electrosonic designed and installed the audio-visual equipment for select galleries, and trained the museum staff to operate the system.

Video Kiosk
Photo courtesy of Local Projects

Electrosonic provided a total of six continuous-play video kiosks, each made up of a portrait-mounted 32-inch LCD monitor, to three of the Living at Home galleries, which display hundreds of household goods. The video interface, video player and an Ethernet-controlled power bar are mounted under the floor at the base of the kiosk.

Experience the Dwelling
Photo courtesy of Local Projects

Gallery 5 showcases Experience the Dwelling, a mini-theater where visitors watch “Welcome Home,” a film projected via two ceiling-mounted DLP projectors onto two 16x9-foot screens configured in a V-shape. Four overhead-mounted loudspeakers deliver audio. Source equipment, including a computer with a programmed control screen for changing playback routines, is rack mounted and housed behind the screens.

Experience the Dwelling
Photo courtesy of Local Projects

“The big challenge for us was working with the existing fabric of a landmark building,” notes Electrosonic engineering project manager, Randy Sherwood. “We used existing lighting tracks to hang speakers, avoiding new penetrations in the red brick structure that was completed in 1887.”

The last gallery focuses on House and Community with developers, contractors, residents and real-estate agents providing a look at six different communities. Electrosonic supplied three 42-inch LCD monitors and overhead-mounted speakers, which present two video programs on a continuous loop. A media player, the power supply for the speakers and an Ethernet-controlled power bar are mounted within the wall at the monitoring room.