BURBANK, CA--Sightseers at The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland (RBGE) are welcomed to the new John Hope Gateway visitor center where AV systems integrated by Electrosonic help them get oriented and explore the facility. Designed by Edward Cullinan architects, the center is a prime example of green construction and sustainability.
Established in 1670 next to Holyrood Palace, RBGE is a world-renowned scientific center for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation. Its new £15.7 million visitor center, which opened last October, is named after John Hope, an 18th century teacher and botanist responsible for an earlier location of the botanic garden and its Regius Keeper from 1761-1786. The Gateway features a restaurant, shop, outdoor plant sales area, Real Life Science Studio, education room and exhibition area.
The John Hope Gateway makes effective use of AV support with displays that are neatly and unobtrusively integrated into the exhibit construction. The system was designed to be easy to use and easy to maintain.
To start, three 32-inch NEC LCD4620 46-inch LCD displays, mounted high in the lobby, act as digital signage greeting visitors to the center with a welcome message, schedule of the day’s events and points of special interest. Most visitors opt to tour the Gateway’s exhibition area that showcases two main themes: the globally-important scientific and horticultural work carried out by the RBGE and biodiversity. Information is updated on a PADS Server installed at the reception desk
Many of the free-standing display cases contain self-contained video replay systems with 17- or 19-inch LCD screens that help tell the story of the gardens and biodiversity in Scotland and worldwide. The Change exhibit also features a darkened viewing area in which two 60-inch plasma screens and programmed lighting effects deliver a compelling show.
The Real Life Science Studio is where the RBGE’s scientific work comes to life thanks to the frequent participation of subjects in the field. Electrosonic outfitted the Studio with a Polycom HDX videoconferencing system with three cameras and a Polycom Sound Structure audio system with six radio mics. An Extron matrix switcher can allocate sources (videoconferencing images, computers, visualizer, DVD) to any of four 46-inch LCD screens. An AMX N13000 with touch panel provides overall room control.