Naturkraft is a new experience centre in the Danish town of Ringkøbing, West Jutland, which aims to increase awareness of nature and the forces that shape our world as a way of encouraging more sustainable behaviour. Visitors are treated to a rich array of exhibitions and learning experiences – outside there are eight different types of natural environment whilst indoors, an iconic 5500 sq metre building designed to integrate into the flat coastal landscape offers a range of fascinating exhibitions. Digital experience creators, No Parking, were responsible for the design and development of the main installations inside the Exploratorium including IT and AV equipment. No Parking selected a Smart IP sound system from Genelec as the ideal audio partner for their designs.
“Our background is AV production and integration with a focus on experience design,” explains No Parking director, Morten Ranmar. “We were chosen for this particular task because of the complexity and scale of the project which required a lot of careful planning to ensure the best visitor experience. From an audio perspective we decided to use Genelec’s Smart IP solution for two of the installations for the simple reason that it was absolutely perfect for our needs and we know we can count on great support if it’s required.”
The exhibitions in the main building are dedicated to the forces of nature as they exist in the local environment of West Jutland. Naturally, the sea plays a huge part in the lives of West Jutlanders, so one of the main installations is the majestic recreation of a North Sea wave. Visitors can walk up to the first floor through the wave accompanied by powerful audio effects triggered by motion sensors and delivered by eight RAW finish Genelec 4430 Smart IP loudspeakers.
“The aim was to create the sensation of what it would be like to be in the midst of the rushing wave, through sound, lighting, video projection and architecture,” describes Ranmar. “Genelec Smart IP was an ideal choice for us for the audio element thanks to the proven quality of the loudspeakers – you can really hear every detail, even at low levels – the pleasing form factor, and of course the Smart IP technology that delivers audio, power and control over a single network cable. There are no external amplifiers to worry about, and the installation is incredibly neat and tidy. We can take audio from several sources if required – in this instance we have a basic ambience mix in eight channels plus sound effects – and the Dante network means we can re-route the signal as required or change the source when the installation changes, so it’s an extremely flexible solution that can adapt as exhibits change and evolve.
“The cherry on the cake was the beautiful RAW finish which perfectly complemented the architecture for the Wave installation, and of course scores very highly on the sustainability scale. This is an extremely important factor for Naturkraft for whom sustainability – along with climate and nature – is one of the key drivers that prompted its creation. Even Genelec’s non-RAW finished products are made from recycled aluminium according to sustainable processes, so they would have been a perfect choice regardless.”
Indeed, No Parking deployed eight 4420 Smart IP loudspeakers in white for Naturkraft’s West Jutland and Nature of Humans exhibits which describe the different landscapes that can be seen across West Jutland. Visitors will learn how the different forces of biology, geology and cultural history have interacted together over time to create the environment we see today.
“Museum and visitor attractions have evolved enormously over the last twenty years to become rich, interactive experiences that involve all of the senses,” says Ranmar. “Sound is of course an integral part of the mix, and as integrators, the onus is on us to select the equipment we need to deliver the best possible experience. Genelec ranks very high on the list thanks to the extremely high quality and reliability of their products, and their Smart IP technology makes them even easier to integrate. I’m looking forward to seeing even more models in the Smart IP range in the future.