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July/August 2017



All life is here Green building, research centre, natural history museum, aquarium and planetarium, the California Academy of Sciences makes a point of showcasing its current research in its public exhibits. Paddy Baker took a tour to look at how AV plays its part


ounded in 1853, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the world’s largest natural history museums. It also carries out a considerable amount of original research, via the prestigious Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability. The Academy is located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Following earthquake damage to many of its buildings in 1989, it was eventually decided to rebuild most of the facility. Celebrated architect Renzo Piano was commissioned, and construction began in 2005. As befits a temple to science, it uses various building technologies to reduce its carbon footprint: it was built using recycled steel and concrete; it recycles rainwater and draws in plentiful amounts of natural light; it has an undulating green roof, which helps to cool the building and avoids the need for air-conditioning; and the canopy around the roof contains 60,000 photovoltaic cells, which generate around 5% of

its energy requirement. These all contributed to the building gaining LEED Platinum status. Among the various exhibition halls and aquaria are two spherical spaces: the Rainforests of the World enclosure and the Morrison Planetarium. Dating originally from 1952, the Morrison Planetarium was completely rebuilt in 2007. In recent years, it became apparent that much of the AV technology was in need of an update. With the venue getting almost daily use, management at the Academy were keen for the refit not to interrupt the planned programme of events. In March 2016, consultant Blair Parkin worked out that the only available window of opportunity was in September and October of that year – otherwise it would be necessary to wait another two years. The 300-seat Morrison is built at a 30º angle, unlike traditional planetariums, which are designed to simulate what you see when you look up at the night sky. Parkin, a principal at

Installed Video „ Sony VPL-GTZ270 4K SXRD 5000-lumen laser projectors „ Mechdyne Dome Display Manager software „ Mechdyne ClusterTools software „ SDT Scalable Display Manager software „ GBvi Chronos optical edge blending „ 7thSense Delta media server „ Digital Projection E-Vision Laser 7500 WUXGA single-chip DLP projectors „ Digital Projection 0.78-0.99:1 short-throw zoom lenses „ Exxact Quantum TXR430-0512R head node PC „ Datapath Vision HD4 4-channel capture card

Control „ Medialon Manager V6 „ Apple iPad Air 2

Installation July/August 2017 Digital Edition  

AV integration in a networked world

Installation July/August 2017 Digital Edition  

AV integration in a networked world