Sarner has won the tender to design and install an innovative and interactive Reading Room experience in the historic National Library of Wales.
The Library was founded by Royal Charter in 1907 and is one of the great achievements of the cultural aspirations of the Welsh nation. Its mission and core function is to collect, preserve and give access to all kinds and forms of recorded knowledge, especially relating to Wales and the Welsh and other Celtic peoples.
With the support of funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government and in partnership with broadcasters in Wales, NLW is now undergoing a large-scale project to establish a cutting-edge national broadcast archive, the first of its kind in the UK, to give access to the archives of BBC Wales, ITV Wales and S4C.
As part of this project, Sarner is working with The National Library of Wales to redevelop their 700m2 Grade II-listed South Reading Room into a vibrant interactive experience that enables the visitors to understand and engage with the Library’s vital collections. As well as being an inviting, functional space providing public access to digitised material from Welsh broadcasters, the redeveloped South Reading Room will also include an interactive exhibition. The experience will bring to life key aspects of the history and culture of Wales and highlight the Wales Broadcast Archive’s important role as a chronicle of the life of the nation, both as a record of the Welsh experience of various historical events and in shaping and reflecting the culture of Wales.
The highlight of the new attraction will be an immersive 3D Audio Experience. It will help to “open” the walls of the South Reading Room and the Library by augmenting a user’s reality through sound. Using Points of Interest as trigger points and the head tracking-functionality of the system, objects and installations throughout the South Reading Room will act as door openers into another sphere – a place of origin and its sound, a conversation, or a historic event behind the object in front of the user. The result is a highly immersive, non-linear and three-dimensional audio experience that the visitor can intuitively control through movement.
The new experience is due to open in Q1 2023 in Aberystwyth, Wales.
Bradley Wynne, Creative Director, Sarner International: “We are delighted to be working with The National Library of Wales in their beautiful historic building. The South Reading Room will become a vibrant space which will bring the Library’s fantastic archive of objects and content to life in innovative and unexpected ways. The project will also make the collection both accessible and relatable by bringing a diverse mix of users together in the new Wales Broadcast Archive Centre.”
Rhian Gibson, Director of Communications, Engagement and Partnerships, The National Library of Wales: "The exhibition, the immersive and interactive experiences in the Wales Broadcast Archive Centre created in partnership with Sarner will offer tremendous new possibilities for the National Library of Wales. It will give us opportunities to engage and attract new audiences as we share the richness of a 100 years of broadcasting transforming the visitor's experience."
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