Audiovisual content and devices are designed to immerse visitors in French history and culture through theatrical storytelling and the latest innovative technologies.
After undergoing a four-year restoration, the Hôtel de la Marine reopened its doors to the public this summer. Entrusted to the Centre des Monuments Nationaux (CMN) since 2015, the iconic monument on the Place de la Concorde in Paris has been transformed into a destination that’s full of life with cultural spaces, coworking areas, restaurants, book and gift shops.
Since it was first built in the 18th century, the Hôtel de la Marine has been witness to great historical events. Until the Revolution, the palace served as the royal furniture repository, and has since been headquarters of the French Ministry of the Navy for more than 200 years.
To highlight this rich history, the Hôtel de la Marine has been transformed into a veritable cultural institution. Architecture and scenography agency Moatti-Rivière was selected for project management, in collaboration with Mikros MPC for creation of the fixed installations’ audiovisual content and devices. Accompanied by the “Confident” audio guide, the tour has been designed to immerse visitors in the daily life of the Hôtel de la Marine’s tenants.
Hugues Allart, producer at Mikros MPC in charge of the devices, looks back on the genesis of the project: “When we read the tender and the expected content, we had stars in our eyes. We were immediately drawn to this project because it focuses on the sustainable transmission of knowledge and cultural heritage. To be able to bring our art and ingenuity to bear on culture and history was particularly exciting.”
The Mikros MPC team drew on its vast knowledge and expertise to create captivating content with a level of aesthetics that matches the location and visitors’ expectations. Along with scriptwriting, directing, filming and editing, the team capitalized on its recognized expertise in photogrammetry, 3D modeling and motion design.
The devices form an essential part of the visitor experience when touring the Hôtel de la Marine, and the teams at Mikros MPC designed the audiovisual content to fulfill the original intention: immersion in history through drama. The theatrical storytelling is based on innovative technologies such as binaural sound and static and rotating screens of unprecedented size. Drawing on their experience in fiction, documentaries and advertising, the teams at Mikros MPC created and produced the content for four installations:
“The Portrait Gallery” – with its historical figures who come to life to tell the story of this national monument;
“The Hôtel de la Marine under the microscope” – an animation through a cross-section of the building that immerses the visitor in the daily life of the Hôtel at the time of the Garde-Meuble;
“The urban design table” – a film that explains everything about the urban and architectural transformations of the Place de la Concorde and the monument;
“The Dancing Mirrors” – large rotating mirrors through which the visitor discovers in 360° the events that made the history of the monument.
Concludes Allart, “This project was a veritable adventure that lasted two and a half years. We really wanted to respect the heritage of the building, so we did a lot of research and spoke with both historians and the different trades involved in the restoration of the building or installation of the devices. It was a very enriching experience for the whole team, and we are really proud to see how the end result of our work fits into the setting of the Hôtel de la Marine.”
To find out more, watch the interviews with the teams at Mikros MPC at the above links and more Behind the Scenes here.