Electrosonic has provided video, audio and control equipment and integration for the new Carol J and Barney Barnett Learning Centre at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

The new facility builds on Electrosonic’s strong relationship with the aquarium, which includes earlier extensive refurbishing of a portion of the aquarium.

The Learning Centre features a circular main hub area with the lab room, toddler’s room, ocean room, coastal room and green room, branching off of it. The Hub Scenic, part of an introductory experience and presentation for visiting students, is at the core of this hub area. This scenic element, along with architectural detailing, special lighting and other embellishments, create the immersive experience of an ocean laboratory.

“A narrative about finding a missing turtle sets the stage for the story of the ocean lab,” said Electrosonic project manager, Tim Wilson.

“Simulated portholes with video monitors behind them and a series of monitors positioned around the top rim of the Hub Scenic contribute to the feeling of being in a circular tank. Kids love it.”

Electrosonic’s Les Hill was senior systems consultant and its mandate was to purchase, install, integrate, program and test equipment for the Hub Scenic; equipment was both supplied by Electrosonic and furnished by the aquarium. Three fabricated columns with integrated audio, video and lighting effects are physically attached to a circular centre core housing the electrical assets.


Six monitors in landscape mode are attached to the facility wall; three more, also in landscape mode, are attached to the scenic columns. Three additional 32-inch Samsung monitors in portrait format from Electrosonic are positioned within the columns behind the portholes with an effects lighting fixture. Each scenic column is outfitted with a pair of speakers.

Electrosonic provided a DMX lighting controller to change the colour of the Hub Scenic’s lights and supplied an AMX control system, operated via an Apple iPad app, for start/end of day control and diagnostics. Bob Allen of Orlando-based IDEAS created the media.

“We have done several projects for The Florida Aquarium and were delighted to be involved in this landmark new Learning Centre,” said Wilson. “The Hub Scenic is a unique way to set the scene for an innovative learning experience.”


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