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“COMBINED WITH THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF BRIGHTNESS, SIZE AND SPEED OF OBJECTS, IT MAKES YOU BELIEVE YOU’RE SEEING 3D STEREO”


The theatre’s dome has been brought down to below fl oor level so visitors have a clear view ahead of them into the depths of space


contrast and clarity of a starball, while ben- efi ting from the advantages of being digital. We call it the world’s fi rst digital starball. All these projectors are wired up to our media server solution which feeds the dome with real-time and playback media. It features 46 separate computers that, when combined, have a storage capacity of over 260 terabytes. This back end system con- fi guration uses 42 NVIDIA Quadro FX4800 graphics cards, which produce unprece- dented graphics processing power. In between, we programmed iPads, con-


trol desks, PCs, lighting, audio, projector blending technology and a whole lot more. These theatres constitute some of the


most hi-tech places in the world, but most visitors don’t see or realise the level of hardware that goes on behind the scenes. It’s all invisible!


How can visitors get a 3D experience without glasses?


The black background of the night sky and the ultra high contrast means that space objects, including stars, appear very well defi ned and jump out of the black sky. Combined with the different levels of


brightness, size and speed of objects, it makes you believe you’re seeing 3D stereo.


AM 4 2011 ©cybertrek 2011


THOMAS ROSZAK architect


What’s the design?


The gallery is designed to represent slices of time and space. Using double and sin- gle layers of fabric we created a curving canvas for the displays, which turn and twist, just like space does in real life. We used an aluminum structure and


pulled fabric tightly over it to create soft, curvilinear shapes. I hid the structure eve- rywhere apart from the wormhole where I let the bones show so it’s the opposite of the rest of the gallery. We created some ellipsoids and cut


them into shapes that people can walk through. I wanted them to be otherworldly. The lighting changes constantly. There


are literally a million variations of this and it adjusts very subtly, so visitors don’t really notice it changing.


What fabric did you use?


The fabric had to be translucent to allow the LED lights behind it to glow through. It also had to refl ect light because media educational content is displayed onto


certain walls. There are infrared sensor dis- plays behind the fabric so when someone comes up to the wall the content changes.


What were the challenges?


Most people are used to building with plaster, steel, concrete and glass. Here the materials were very different – most people haven’t worked with aluminum. Plus, the fabric was vast, it was almost like sewing an enormous dress. There were dozens of seamstresses working on it, initially in the factory but then on site doing fi nal fi ttings.


How can the gallery be developed?


The media content can be changed and different things displayed from the same projectors, so the operators can easily update the show. They didn’t want to be tied into something that needed hard construction and a lot of money to update. This way they can spend the money on the media content and education. ●


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