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SHEIKH ABDULLAH AL SALEM CULTURAL CENTRE

Innovative audiovisual design brings the largest museum project in the world to life.

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INTRODUCTION

The Sheikh Abdullah al Salem Cultural Centre is the largest museum complex in the world covering 22,000 square meters and hosting four innovative museums - Natural History, Science Centre, Space and the Arabic Islamic Science Museum. With over 800 exhibits and interactives, the museum is set across 23 dynamic galleries.

Electrosonic designed all the audiovisual exhibits across all four museums, working in partnership with Cultural Innovations to turn design concepts into audiovisual solutions. Electrosonic was then appointed one of the audiovisual integrators.

Using leading-edge technology, immersive environments, large-scale models and compelling interactivity across all four museums, the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salam Cultural Centre provides an exciting range of attractions as well as a fresh new learning approach for Kuwaitis.

OVERVIEW

Electrosonic was awarded the project and given just under two years to deliver the audiovisual elements. Our team delivered on the audiovisual hardware, fit out and integration for three of the six blocks - Transport and Innovation, Human Body and Mind and the Arabic Islamic Science Museum.

Electrosonic installed over 250 exhibits including a 20-seater spherical dark ride theatre, with a 6-meter immersive screen and 4D full-motion seating, part of the human body experience to explore the human body.

Some of the exhibits used a mix of professional scientific and medical equipment to ensure interpretation was accurate. One of the exhibits was a smell machine that emitted different scents and took six months to make.

Another exhibit in the Healthy Living gallery - Race against the Stars - used sixteen 80 inch screens mounted side by side in portrait mode to create a virtual running track, allowing participants to race against the world’s elite athletes. All entrants are accurately timed with the fastest posted on a daily leader board to encourage participation, healthy competition and excitement.

This was a massive project, completed in a very short timescale by a team working in extreme conditions to create what is currently the largest museum of its kind in the world.

CHALLENGE

The primary challenge of such a large-scale international project was ensuring we had adequate staff based there over long periods of time. We also needed to be flexible in allocation of engineers. That meant applying LEAN methods and automation to simplify commissioning and save resources.

The second challenge was to optimize engineering to achieve consistent results throughout all project milestones. We had to ensure that different contractors and on-site teams could access the latest technical information 24/7.

SOLUTION

A project this size required a dedicated full-time team led by a senior Project Manager, a full-time Site Manager, supported by a group of Project Engineers, Fabrication Engineers, Installation Engineers, Commissioning Engineers and Specialist Programmers, coordinating with over 90 other specialist subcontractors to ensure successful project delivery.

The museum’s in-house technical support teams continue to be locally supported by Electrosonic’s Middle East office situated in Dubai.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

The project forms the major part of Kuwait’s new national cultural district, a celebration of the scientific and cultural achievements of mankind.

The museum is now the biggest and most innovative museum in the world encouraging and supporting tourism and the Kuwait economy. It will help the country to diversify, inform, educate and inspire future generations in the fields of technology, innovation, science, history and culture.

Project Details

Client
Alghanim International
Location
Kuwait
Size
22,000 sq.ft
Services
Blue Sky Technology Concepting
Technology Design Consulting
Control System Design
Detailed Engineering
Fabrication & System Design
Project Management & Installation
System Commissioning & Programming
Training & Service
Electrosonic’s breadth of experience helped them easily collaborate with the many other international specialists required to deliver this project, and their effort, commitment and quality helped BECK deliver the seemingly undeliverable.
Robin Rochford
Project Director, BECK

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