Completing a number of substantial upgrades for the Fram Museum, Sarner created a dramatic and exciting visitor experience which brings to life Norway’s two famous ships, the Fram and the Gjoa, whilst telling the incredible stories of the famous explorers that sailed them. These upgrades doubled the Fram Museum’s visitor numbers and shot the museum up to the No.1 Museum in Norway as rated on TripAdvisor, a place it has held ever since amongst stiff national competition. In 2019, the project received a highly prestigious TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement, with the judges particularly praising the design for showcasing the power of immersive storytelling to entertain and educate.

Location
Oslo, Norway
Services
- Scheme & Detailed Design - Art Direction - Project Engineering & Technical Design - Lighting Design and Specification - Audiovisual Design and Specification - Media & Film Production - Theming - Languages & Multinational Support - Network Design - Special effects, 4D Vibration, Movement & Smell - Show Control Specification - Show Programming - Technical Installation and Commissioning
Awards
TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Museum Upgrade, Museums & Heritage - The International Award, TripAdvisor - Travellers’ Choice
Links
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Client's brief

The polar ship that gives the museum its name is steeped in a rich history. The Fram voyaged to the Arctic and Antarctic between 1893 and 1912 with a Norwegian crew at the helm. It also carried the first person to reach the South Pole in 1911. In 1935, the ship was installed in the Fram Museum, where she now stands.

First opened in 1933 as a museum of polar exploration history, over the past decade Sarner has been working closely with the museum’s Director, Geir Kløver and his team to deliver a number of substantial upgrades. Our ongoing collaboration with the Fram Museum is reflective of the long-term relationships we build with our clients. Our brief was to create installations that educate, entertain and add life and context to the vessels by better reflecting the dark and often haunting realities of the Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, whilst ensuring that the ships remain the focal point and focus of the museum.

Our solution

Working in close creative collaboration with the Client, Sarner delivered an impactful museum makeover. Visiting the historic ships is now a multimedia, multisensory adventure. A fun and thrilling journey featuring immersive environments, a dark walk, a Northern Lights show, media experiences, exhibits and interactives, the freeflow exhibition introduces the dramatic stories featuring the legendary vessels, as well as the airship Norge and seaplane N25, all brought vividly to life.

Features

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Outstanding visual content

The Fram vessel is housed in a distinctive triangular building surrounded by tiers of walkways offering views on to three sides of the ship. The crown jewel of the museum upgrade is the multichannel projection system that goes all the way around the ship and uses the interior walls of the building as a canvas for projections depicting Arctic conditions. The visitors step aboard the ship and feel the drama and hardship that the great Norwegian explorers like Nansen and Amundsen went through to achieve the success of the North and South Arctic expeditions. A 15-minute sequence plays out, taking visitors on a journey that culminates in a violent storm and the ship's eventual halt as it freezes into the pack ice. To achieve a fully immersive experience, a mechanical moving bench on board the Fram gives visitors the feeling they are gently rocking on the deck as the show surrounds them.
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Cutting-edge AV integration

Below deck, guests find their way to the engine room, where they hear the rumble of the ship’s original engine and see the flickering of its flames as the smell of diesel fuel fills the air. Moving floors, smell, sound effects, projection and lighting combine as interactive and theatrical displays. Visitors experience what life was like for explorers during the years spent on board. There are small touches throughout the main hold that subtly use AV to enrich the visitor experience and deliver more information on the ship, its crew and its missions. Tablets are integrated in wooden barrels to deliver information with a choice of ten languages, while a periscope allows visitors to see above the ship, with a live feed shown on a screen.
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Innovative interactives

A polar interactive table features an animated projection of the top of the Earth, 60 degrees North. There are three points of interaction displayed on the globe – shipping, icecap movements/global warming and polar bear movements, with detailed information linked back to and presented on three touchscreen monitors. Physical interactives include a reaction game that monitors the visitor response, a sledge simulator to allow the visitor to experience what it was like to pull a loaded sledge across the snow, and a shooting game. In the Young Explorers Zone, children of all ages can explore an igloo and put together a physical puzzle to learn about the Inuit people and how to correctly pack a sleigh.
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A dark walk experience

The excitement continues with a dark walk experience: a two-minute immersive sensory adventure showcasing the fear and dangers that early explorers faced while charting the Arctic regions. As visitors walk through a set of double doors they immediately feel a drop in temperature to -10c as the walk-through simulates Arctic temperatures.
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Realistic scenic works

In addition to the museum’s various immersive environments, media experiences, exhibits and interactives, high quality scenic sets help contextualise and bring to life the stories and secrets of the legendary vessel.

TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Museum Upgrade

Museums & Heritage - The International Award

Awards and recognition

In this video  - Behind the scenes footage
'There is no doubt that the addition of this cutting-edge AV set-up has enriched the experience for every visitor, young and old. We’ve had some incredible feedback since re-opening to the public, with a substantial uplift in footfall. These ambitious upgrades demonstrate our continued commitment to renewing the experience and maintaining the museum’s status as one of Norway’s must-see attractions. We are delighted with the end result, which has helped us to reinvigorate Fram’s legacy for future generations and years to come.'
Geir O.Kløver Managing Director, Fram Museum