Electrosonic was responsible for a wide range of design and engineering services at the newly opened Philadelphia Museum of the American Revolution.
The international audio-visual company covered the audio-visual design, engineering, product procurement, installation and commissioning for the museum.
The Museum of the American Revolution is situated just a few blocks from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. The new red brick building contains 32,000 square feet of galleries and theatres that wind around an imposing central atrium. The museum’s aim is to bring to life the history and people of the American Revolution. It does this through a range of immersive exhibits, films and an iconic collection of artefacts.
“This was the friendliest construction site I have ever been on – and that applies to all the trades,” says Kevin Mayfield, Project Manager for Electrosonic. “All of us were challenged by the size and scope of the museum and the complex spaces, but it was all about the team and having the right team members was essential. Everyone was not only good at what they do but very collaborative too – a rare combination!”
Visitors are introduced to the museum at the Lenfest Meyer Theater with a 15-minute orientation film entitled Revolution. Electrosonic was the supplier of the three Christie HD6K-M projectors that display the edge-blended content on a 34×10-foot Stewart screen. A 7th Sense server sources the film. The sophisticated audio system features three Tannoy VQ-100 speakers, a pair of Tannoy subwoofers, and 22 wall – and ceiling – mounted JBL 8350 speakers. Q-SYS audio control is utilised throughout the building.
Washington’s War Tent was the “biggest and most challenging” exhibit for Electrosonic, says Mayfield. The exhibit tells the story of the tent’s journey from the battlefield to the present day. For this, Electrosonic provided a custom Gerriets three roller screen system, 34 feet long and made of carbon fibre.
Interactive exhibits can be found throughout the galleries. In the Posters of Protest exhibit, motion sensors under each monitor activate as visitors approach. Visitors can trigger the stories behind key moments. Multi-touch monitors are installed in various other exhibits.
Visitors can board a replica privateer ship for which Electrosonic provided audio. “There are custom Acoustic Enhancement activated sound panels hidden in crates, overhead in the ship and in the ship’s walls,” says Mayfield. “Each has its own point source audio – birds, sounds of loading cargo, people on the dock. It’s subtle but very powerful, an exhibit we’re very proud of.”
The Battlefield Theater shows a 4D re-enactment of the 1777 Battle of Brandywine at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Two Christie DWU-851Q edge-blend projectors show video feed from the 7th Sense server while strobe lights, ‘gunpowder’ smoke and a shaking floor add physicality to the experience. Four Aurasound floor shakers provide the feel of marching soldiers. “It’s an extremely immersive environment in a fairly small space,” says Mayfield.
Electrosonic also provided audio-visual for the Oneida Nation Gallery, as well as other galleries and spaces around the world.
Image courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution.