Amazing graphics and top-notch Barco projectors are now bringing Polish history to life. In March 2022, Art Box Experience opened its doors to an amazing immersive exhibition showing the vibrant city of Warsaw between the two world wars. The time machine may not have been invented yet, but this is about as close as you can get to it.
Retro Warszawa is the first immersive production built for Art Box Experience, a new multifunctional space, where unique multisensory exhibitions, performances, concerts and events can be created at the intersection of art, science, digital technology and entertainment. For this immersive experience, the organizers dug deep into the city’s archives for historic photos and films of Warsaw of 100 years ago. The pictures were then cleaned, reconstructed, colored, and assembled in a dynamic show by using the latest graphics techniques and artificial intelligence.
Setting the scene
Pro4Media, a long-time Barco partner and AV specialist, took on the challenge to create the experience, in close cooperation with the production’s originators, Piotr Sikora and Joanna Kowalkowska.
“Although we have been in the events business for a long time, Art Box Experience was a unique project for us in many ways,” says Marek Wasilewski, Project Manager at Pro4Media. “Poland had never seen a stationery, long-lasting immersive 3D experience like this before, and we knew that only the best projection technology would be good enough.”
Pro4Media worked closely together with the creative team behind the exhibition to see which experiences needed to be created. Then Marek and his team defined the technical requirements to make this happen. After a thorough selection process between projectors from different manufacturers, Barco came out as the preferred solution.
Creating an immersive environment
Retro Warszawa found its home in the former Norblin metal plated goods factory in Warsaw’s Wola district. Inside, the exhibition uses an innovatively designed space of 800 m2 with no less than 52 of Barco’s G60-W10 projectors. The G60’s present digital images on integrated screens, surrounding visitors from all sides, and this is combined with reflective flooring and top-quality sound. In short: everything is there to provide visitors with a new, unprecedented experience.
The inner screens are movable and divide the space into 9 rooms, each of them showing different scenes of Warsaw life. The screens can be lifted, so that only the outer walls can be used for projection. Some of the projection surfaces are bent, forming surprisingly curved views. The Pro4Media team managed to complete the projector installations and creative settings in time for the exhibition’s opening, even while the building’s refurbishment works were still ongoing.
Amazing colors, in real life and online
“We were looking for a projector that is reliable and easy to manage remotely, but image quality was our primary concern,” says Marek Wasilewski. “Fortunately, we found all of these qualities with Barco’s G60-W10 projector. The 10K lumens and high resolution make this a powerful projector. The compact form factor and short lenses also make the projectors ideal for installation in places where space is limited. And of course, all of this comes with the reliability we are used to from Barco.”
Marek and his team can manage and configure the 52 Barco projectors remotely – from home or the office – through their Pixera software, which is also used to monitor and manage sound and lighting.
“The colors look great and the experience is remarkable, when you’re right in the middle of the immersive set-up,” says Marek. “But we also paid attention to configuring the projectors to make the scenes look good on photos. Social media and the viral nature of online pictures are so important for making the Art Box Experience a success, that we could not ignore that aspect.”
New experiences with Barco
The opening weeks of Retro Warszawa already attracted a great crowd, and the exhibition is expected to receive many more visitors who love this overwhelming mix of education and entertainment in the coming months.
“We are already preparing for new immersive exhibitions that will feature in Art Box Experience, which will probably be even more colorful and dynamic than this one,” says Marek. “We are confident that our Barco projectors will amaze the audience again in the future.”