Edutainment & Infotainment

Media equipment for the multifunction room of the Museum Barberini in Potsdam and installation of an overall media infrastructure

The object
What arts patron and SAP founder Hasso Plattner had in mind when funding the reconstruction of the Palace Barberini in Potsdam was to make it the home of an art museum of international standing. Previously he had already financed the reconstruction of the baroque facade of the Palais Barberini. The original Palace Barberini in Potsdam had been built by Carl von Godard, architect of Frederic the Great, who wanted it to look exactly like the Palazzo Barberini in Rome. Interior construction work, while meeting modern standards, was handled with due respect for the baroque architecture. A total of 17 exhibition halls with state-of-the-art technical equipment is distributed over three floors with an overall surface area of 2,200 square meters. The Museum Barberini displays the Hasso Plattner collection of art which features works of Old Masters and even extends to the 21st century with the focus on impressionism. Other collection themes are American modernism, art from the GDR era, and paintings created after 1989. The opening exhibition "Impressionism. The Art of Landscape" presents works from Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Camille Pissaro. Temporary exhibitions are intended to enhance the museum's international attraction and recognition.   

The job
Amptown System Company was commissioned to fit the multifunction room of the Museum Barberini with state-of-the-art, high-quality media equipment which would meet the high standards of the house and the high demands of its patron. In addition a media equipment infrastructure was to be provided which would allow for safely connecting all of the displays located at different points in the building and for integrating them into a network to ensure that any event taking place in the house would proceed smoothly and dependably, from lectures requiring no more than PA equipment to chamber music or screenings requiring comprehensive and diversified sound reinforcement provisions. With their expertise in fitting museums and exhibitions with media equipment, and having executed other prestigious projects in a reliable and timely fashion, ASC was deemed to be the most suitable candidate for this major project as well.

The solution
The owner charged the technical designer and senior events technician Maurizio Salas with planning the AV media equipment. Execution of the order was handled by ASC Berlin with Christian Schroeder as the project manager. He has extensive experience with projects involving sophisticated media equipment systems to be installed in museum environments where the architecture is especially sensitive to interventions of any kind. When installation and commissioning had been duly completed, ASC also undertook the staging of the first event, the grand opening of the Museum Barberini with more than 600 guests of honour including Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bill Gates.

Centrally placed in the lecture room like an exhibition object, the 4K/UHD LED smart wall made by Leyard® is a prominent eye catcher. With a pixel pitch of 1.25 mm it is high-resolution equipment suitable for a wide range of applications and stands out for excellent reliability and durability. Among a variety of other applications the LED wall is also used to display high-resolution scans of the artworks and supply museum visitors with background information on the exhibition. An iPad multimedia stele with an application software programmed by SAP allows the moderator or even the visitors themselves to project images on the wall and to retrieve their history and their cultural context via a media server. For events depending on audio/video signals a coolux server is provided to work as a media feeder. The coolux system also ensures that information content for any of the display modules can be fed to them via a decentralized media player.  

An Extron XTP II cross-point matrix is integrated into the overall system architecture and enables transmission of the high-resolution audio and video signals within the museum area. More remote mobile displays on other floors are supplied with video and audio content via the fiber optic cables and network nodes which make up the in-house network infrastructure. 

Apart from the illuminated ceiling the lighting system in the auditorium includes various ETC LED spot- lights which can be connected to the EUTRAC bus bar in any configuration required. At live events light control is ensured by a compact DMX lighting desk, during exhibitions by the central CRESTRON media control system which enables the museum technician to activate various light scenes from a touch panel. In the exhibition area the small elegant ETC Irideon FPZ architecture lighting system was used because with the high color rendering index it provides it is capable of illuminating artworks, if desired, in a selective, accentuated fashion.

For sound reinforcement ASC used VIDA L column speakers by Kling & Freitag. Hidden behind a cladding to the right and left of the video wall, the slim column speakers are entirely unobtrusive. For high convenience of operation, preprogrammed settings for clear voice and sound reproduction are available in the central audio processor and can be activated using either the CRESTRON touchpanel or a mobile digital audio mixing console. As far as the microphones went ASC chose premium quality wireless Sennheiser equipment from the 5000 series.

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  • Museum-Barberini_Slider-I_01.jpg

    Museum Barberini

    The Museum Barberini in Potsdam is a major new attraction for people from all over the world interested in art. The facade of the Palais Barberini was reconstructed to look like it had originally been. Interior construction was implemented according to modern standards and involves cutting-edge media equipment.

  • Museum-Barberini_Slider-II_01.jpg

    Museum Barberini

    The Museum Barberini has got a multifunctional room with state-of-the-art media equipment. The eye is caught immediately by the high-resolution Leyard® 4K/UHD LED wall which among other things displays painting exhibits and provides background information. Apart from that the wall serves as a perfect backdrop for any kind of event.

  • Museum-Barberini_Slider-III_01.jpg

    Museum Barberini

    Press conference in the multifunction room of the Museum Barberini. ETC LED spotlights put Hasso Plattner and the museum staff in the right light. The "Water Lilies" by Claude Monet are being displayed on the video wall.

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