Stonehenge

A 360-Degree Virtual Experience of Stonehenge
Wiltshire, UK

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The new Stonehenge exhibition and visitor centre makes dramatic use of high resolution projection technology to help visitors explore one of the world’s most important prehistoric monuments. Located just 1.5 miles from Stonehenge itself, the centre is the first phase of English Heritage's £27-million project to transform the visitor experience of this iconic site.

Stonehenge

Electrosonic was responsible for the audio-visual systems design and integration of the visitor centre, which uses AV technology extensively to give visitors an enthralling introduction to the legend of the stones, exploring the history and debate surrounding this ancient monument.

One of the highlights is the ‘Standing in the Stones’ exhibit, a 360-degree virtual experience. The exhibit lets visitors stand in a virtual Stonehenge as it is today and in the past. The three-minute film, based on state-of-the-art laser scan images of the stone circle, transports viewers back in time through the millennia, enabling them to experience the summer and winter solstices.

Stonehenge

Because an exhibit like ‘Standing in the Stones’ requires great care in execution, Electrosonic provided a full scale mock-up preview in its workshop located at Electrosonic’s head office in Kent. This procedure helped the producers, Centre Screen Productions, assisted by Studio Liddell, check the content at full size, whilst ensuring English Heritage could be confident in the outcome and be aware of audience circulation issues. The exhibit uses six DLP projectors sourced from a video server, and the audio system consists of four amplifiers and seven loudspeakers augmented by a ceiling mounted sub bass loudspeaker.

Stonehenge

Visitors move from ‘Standing in the Stones’ into the next exhibition area housing more AV elements. The ‘Meaning’ section includes four portrait format 32-inch LCDs showing a linear programme on the debate around the ‘Meaning of Stonehenge’. ‘Landscape’ is a giant image of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site projected via three DLP projectors onto a wall screen which shows how people changed over the pre-historic period by building different monuments.

Stonehenge

The visitor centre also contains an education space equipped with appropriate room control and AV facilities. The space can be divided into two; one half has a ceiling mounted LCD projector, and the other half has an 87-inch touch screen. Room control is by a dedicated controller and wall panels allow the connection of external sources.

Robert Campbell, Head of Interpretation at Stonehenge, says, “Electrosonic brought a can-do attitude to this complex and high profile project. This was essential in getting the exhibition open on time and working well.”

Haley Sharpe Design managed the production of the exhibition, with The Hub as exhibition fit-out contractor and Goppion as the supplier of the display cases. The sound track for ‘Standing in the Stones’ was provided by Peter Key. The content for the “Meaning” displays, the LCDs within the display cases and for the ticket office audio guide was produced by ISO Design, and the “Landscape” content was produced by Squint Opera.