Not your usual trip to the next floor!
(Brockville) – When tourists and local residents visit the Aquatarium in 2013, they will enjoy numerous unique exhibit experiences all designed to provide a “wow” factor for young and old. One of those will be the ‘ elevator experience ’, designed to instantly gravitate visitors to many unique features, beginning with the ‘fog wall’.
The fog wall actually obscures the doorway to the elevator and will offer high contrast moving imagery projected onto its surface. The experience of moving through the fog wall into the elevator staging area will have the effect of ‘entering another world’.
The elevator staging area is an enclosed room dramatically lit with theatrical lighting with the walls decorated in a nautical theme. The interior of the elevator will look similar to a bathysphere (a spherical deep sea submersible), sheets of plate metal with exposed seams and rivets. On the north side of the elevator is a large, round porthole. Embedded behind the glass of the porthole, mounted to the interior elevator wall, is a flat screen video display that is cropped by the porthole thus displaying a perceived “underwater window”.
When visitors look around the elevator they will discover a ‘virtual pond’ on the floor beneath them featuring regional species of fish swimming below the surface. The fish and the water surface react in various ways to the presence of visitors with ripples appearing in the water and fish are attracted and repelled.
When visitors press the button for the main entrance to the Aquatarium (which is the 3rd floor), the elevator doors close and an audiovisual display consisting of audio playback (containing “hull popping” sound effects), theatrical lighting and an animation/live video display on the “porthole” video display begins playing. This display is designed to be synchronized exactly to the duration of an elevator trip to the 3rd floor and is meant to simulate a trip from the bottom of the St. Lawrence River to the surface.
What is also appealing is that several different animations designed for the porthole display will play back randomly, each featuring a different themed element, i.e. scuba diver, large fish, etc. At the termination of the elevator ride, the doors open and visitors exit the west doors and enter the “Creation” exhibit.
Visitor Takeaways: The elevator ride will set the tone for the Aquatarium experience. It delivers the initial “wow” and sets the menu of mind opening possibilities along the lines of “I didn’t expect this – this is different – this is about water and life and presented differently than anything I’ve seen before”.