Road to Berlin: European Theater Galleries
Creating lifelike environments that simulate the Road to Berlin
Throughout 2014, Solomon Group worked towards the completion of its largest and most ambitious museum attraction project to date.
Road to Berlin: European Theater Galleries covers nearly 9,000 sq. ft. inside of the new Campaigns of Courage: European and Pacific Theaters exhibit pavilion at The National WWII Museum. The exhibition includes nine galleries of immersive, scenic environments that lead visitors on a journey across the European front as the Allies raced to Berlin.
Working alongside Gallagher & Associates, our task was to bring the exhibit designer’s vision to life so that guests experience a wide range of lifelike environments, from the North African desert to the wintry Ardennes Forest.
It was important to the museum that the exhibits be constructed as often as possible using real materials, rather than artificial scenic elements. Our fabrication team attacked the challenge. We poured a concrete bunker around exhibit walls, burned pieces of timber for post-invasion environments, and actually blew a hole in the roof of our Quonset hut to better resemble actual bomb damage.
Also, we believe that rendered designs can only be transformed into captivating environments when its craftsmen fret over the smallest details. From the aged brick exposed behind a bullet-riddled wall, to the snow-frosted trees of a Western Front battleground, fabricating ultra-realistic scenery for projects with extremely high tolerances is one of Solomon Group’s greatest passions.
In addition to providing exhibit fabrication, Solomon Group was selected to provide the project’s A/V systems integration and exhibit lighting services as well.
Our technical wizards created a multi-touch, group interactive table that includes four 55-inch monitors that visitors surround and engage with during one point of their journey through the exhibits. Our team also created and installed a synched video wall featuring nine, integrated 55-inch displays that appears during another part of the exhibition.
Working in tandem with the exhibit designers as well as our own fabrication team, Solomon Group also provided multiple atmospheric projections to make guests feel fully immersed in the varied environments. For instance, the hole blown through the Quonset hut roof reveals a jaw-dropping projection of bombers flying in the sky overhead.
Finally, each gallery features several interactive rails, a multi-channel soundscape, and exhibit lighting designed and focused to simulate the real life conditions of each distinct environment.
When the exhibit officially opened to the public on December 12th 2014, museum president Gordon “Nick” Mueller described it as, “one of the most exciting moments in the long history of this museum.”
Photos courtesy of The National WWII Museum.
What We did
- Scenic Fabrication + Finishing
- A/V Systems Design + Integration
- Exhibit Lighting
- Project Management + Consultation
- Technical Direction
- Show Control System Design + Programming
- Installation + Maintenance