Stunning immersive experience honors Russian heroes of World War Two

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Stunning immersive experience honors Russian heroes of World War Two
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180 Barco projectors help to tell a moving story of the Great Patriotic War

The new Memory Lane Museum Complex in Kubinka, Russia, is going to great lengths to honor the millions of Soviet soldiers and citizens who endured the Great Patriotic War (Eastern Front of World War Two). In a unique, visually baffling setting, the museum has created 1.5 kilometers of visual installations evoking war scenes in an immersive and interactive experience. The museum, for which Barco has been a critical contributor, sets an example for other museums that want to make an impact with visual storytelling. 

The Memory Lane museum complex is located at the heart of the 5,500 hectares Patriot Park, a military-themed visitor attraction surrounding the Main Church of the Armed Forces of Russia. The museum has 35 galleries and exhibition halls, providing an immersive, interactive educational experience that relies on Barco projection technology and creative design. 

The museum complex is 1,418 steps long – in memory of 1,418 days and nights of battle during the Great Patriotic War. A detailed history of every day of the war is presented through the graphic time line of the exhibition.

Ambitious visualization project 

The Memory Lane Museum Complex called upon Avilex, one of Russia’s largest IT integrators, for the installation of the audiovisual equipment. Avilex is known for taking on large, high-profile visualization projects, although Alexey Samokhin, the company’s creative director, admits that this installation project presented an unmatched challenge.

"We are used to working with the top brands in the industry, because system reliability and image quality are top priorities for all our installations,” says Alexey. “But the biggest challenge here was the tight deadline. Mid-February 2020, we understood that more than 100 projectors would be needed and we were expected to complete the project in May 2020. Barco was the only visualization provider that could make this work. We also succeeded thanks to close collaboration between Barco, Avilex and our distributor Auvix.” 

The museum was planned to open on 9 May 2020, although this was postponed until 22 June 2020 because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the museum’s opening, the Avilex and Barco teams worked together relentlessly to bring the exhibition to life and to translate the customer’s creative vision and requirements into visually astounding installations. Also, the role of distributor Auvix was crucial: they ensured the fastest and safest delivery within the tight deadline, and made sure that all installations were finalized on time, even before the initial opening date. 

Diverse visualization 

The Memory Lane Museum Complex is as monumental as visually diverse: the exhibition consists of 35 galleries and immersive exhibition halls, three panoramic cinema halls, two audiovisual tunnels, break-out areas and a welcome area.

"We wanted to meet the customer’s creative requirements, but at the same time, we wanted to make the configurations for the 180 projectors as uniform as possible to make maintenance and interchangeability easier,” says Alexey. “We were able to meet all of the requirements with a mix of Barco’s G60 series laser phosphor projectors, and F70F80 and F90 laser phosphor projectors.”

Avilex and Barco have created quite a few unique installations for the museum. There is an installation with a crashed German plane with projection mapping, featuring Barco G60 projectors. There are five panoramic halls with 180-degree screens that create a dynamic background and physical experience, featuring G60 projectors. The museum also uses a four-channel dome projection system in the ‘Battle for the Caucasus’ hall, built into a physical, rocky scenery, using F80 projectors. 

Meeting creative challenges

Among the most challenging installations were the three ‘full immersion’ halls, each themed around a key moment from the war. The halls feature 360 degrees of projection and a screen on the ceiling. The installation team was limited because of the halls’ physical construction and confined space, but Barco was able to deliver a solution nonetheless. 

"At first, we had no idea how we could make this installation work,” says Alexey. “But the compact Barco F70 projector combined with an ultra-short throw lens offered a solution. We couldn’t have made this work without the help of the Barco F70.”

The museum also includes cinema halls, using three Barco F80 projectors, producing stunning images in 4K UHD resolution. 

"A creative project of this size requires perfect communication and a well-oiled team effort,” says Alexey. “Thanks to the relentless dedication and coordination of the Barco team, we were able to complete this stunning visualization project in record time. It’s a piece of art which may serve as an example to museum projects all over the world.”