Solutions: Durlston Country Park Visitors Centre, Dorset Nature past and present A revamped visitor centre is bringing a country park back to life, writes James McGrath
A Year in The Life of Durlstonis played across four 58in Panasonic TH-58PF11EK HD plasma screens
urlston Castle, built between 1887 and 1891, is perched above cliffs on England’s
‘Jurassic Coast’: a 60km stretch of coastline spanning the counties of Devon and Dorset, notched with dinosaur footprints and fossils, and designated a World Heritage site. By contrast, Durlston Country
Park, in whose confines the castle rests, is a National Nature Reserve that stretches out across more than 110 hectares of bountiful Swanage countryside to the cliff edge. The area is inhabited by a plethora of wildlife, which has been documented by the rangers that tend the reserve.
In with the new In 2008 the UK’s Lottery Heritage fund set aside £3.23 million for a new visitor centre at Durlston Country Park. This sparked the beginning of a three-year project to transform the castle from the site of a disused café to a place where wildlife – past and presnt – could be experienced. DJ Willrich (DJW) was selected as AV integrator for the revamp. “We had the advantage of being
involved from the very beginning – back in 2009. This allowed us to have the biggest influence on the entire project,” explains Josh Miller, DJW director.
46 IE April 2012
The company won the tender for
the project partly thanks to the proposal of a unique collaboration. Working closely with Southampton- based creative filmmaker Centrescreen, the company devised an AV theatre to complement a 10- minute film entitled A Year in The Life of Durlston, which features footage of wildlife and ocean activity across all four seasons. Four 58in Panasonic TH-58PF11EK HD plasma screens arranged horizontally are used to display the video. “One of the challenges was to find a media player that would offer perfect synchronisation between the screens and allow them to run individual content,” says Miller. DJW opted for four DVS BLADEHD Sync video servers synchronised to transmit images to each individual screen, or to all four screens in unison to create a panorama. Sound comes from a Tannoy surround system consisting of three iw62 DC in-wall front speakers, two ceiling iw4 DC, acting as rear speakers, and one Tannoy iw62TS subwoofer. Rated from 29Hz to 110Hz, this works in passive mode with a continuous power handling of 200W RMS.
Prehistoric in nature The Geology Display features an array
installer . Based in Hampshire’s New Forest, DJ Willrich is an audiovisual multimedia integrated system company
. DJW began as a consultancy business in 1986, focusing initially on museums and visitor parks
. The company has since expanded its portfolio to include customised houses, hotels, museums, visitor attractions and even super yachts
. Recent projects include the soon-to-open National Football Museum in Manchester, and immersive experiences in nine galleries at Titanic Belfast
of animal fragments, such as sharks’ teeth and crocodile jawbones, resting on the surface of a slab of rock 1,500mm in diameter. “Originally what was planned had been purely a light and sound show, whereby a narrator explained the significance of a relic while it was illuminated. But, after some consideration, we opted to install an
Audio . Visaton FRS 5 panel mount loudspeaker . Tannoy Di5 surface loudspeaker . Tannoy iw62 DC loudspeakers . Tannoy iw4 loudspeakers . Tannoy iw62TS subwoofer . Bose FreeSpace DS 100SE loudspeakers . Bose FreeSpace DS100F loudspeakers . Bose Model 16 ceiling loudspeakers . Sennheiser EW135 wireless radio mic . Sennheiser radio mic lapel transmitter and receiver . Sennheiser remote antenna and mounting bracket . Sennheiser passive antenna splitter
Control . Kramer VS1604 xl matrix switcher . Kramer VP-200K1:2 computer graphics video distribution amplifier . Crestron CP2E controller . Crestron MT-1000C touchpanel . DVS BLADEHD Sync video servers