Using a Histopad™, a visitor views an augmented reality simulation of the construction of Notre-Dame de Paris in the exhibition. Credit: Histovery
Excerpt from a press release:
“On April 15, the National Building Museum brings French heritage back to life with a major new exhibition, Notre-Dame de Paris: the augmented exhibition, a 360-degree immersion in augmented reality in the 850 years of history of the cathedral and its ongoing restoration. The innovative installation is designed and produced by Histovery, a French start-up, in collaboration with the Public Establishment in charge of the conservation and restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris. L’Oréal is the exclusive sponsor of the exhibition.
The North American debut of the exhibition at the Museum takes place on the third anniversary of the 2019 fire that ravaged this UNESCO World Heritage Site and will run until Monday, September 26, 2022. A inaugural exhibition will be launched on April 7, 2022 in Paris, France, at the College des Bernadins. This visually stunning experience is the first interactive technology exhibit presented at the National Building Museum.
To navigate through the exhibition, each visitor will use a HistoPad™, an augmented reality touchscreen tablet developed by Histovery. The wearable device creates immersive and interactive reconstructions, visually transporting visitors back in time. They can choose their own experience to explore the cathedral under construction in the Middle Ages, witness the coronation of Emperor Napoleon I, see the construction of the iconic Viollet-le-Duc spire or be guided through the complex operation designed to save the structure from the fire, before restoration begins. The innovative and intuitive Histopad experience is designed to appeal to visitors of all ages, regardless of their comfort level with technology. Visitors can choose from eleven language options and a self-guided virtual treasure hunt for children encourages exploration of the cathedral’s history and identification of objects secretly embedded in augmented reality screens.
The exhibition is offered in a visually transporting immersive physical setting. Vinyl replicas of the cathedral floor, stained glass transfers on the Museum’s historic windows, audio from the organs and bells of Notre Dame, as well as a projection of the cathedral’s famous rose window, which miraculously survived the fire, complete the multi-sensory experience.
Large photographic panels and 3D models of the cathedral and its decorative details – including a chimera and a life-size statue – serve as visual cues and “portals” for immersive Histopad explorations in this masterpiece. cultural and architectural work of the twelfth century. Interactive reconstructions show how the builders and craftsmen laid the first stones in the 1160s, built the Gothic Choir in 1180, the arrival of the Holy Crown carried by Saint Louis in 1241, the coronation of Emperor Napoleon I in 1804, and illustrate the ornate evolution of the building with the addition of the towering spire in 1859. Visitors can scroll through a timeline of the cathedral’s building history and select options on each screen for details. They will learn about the cathedral’s intricate architectural structure and construction techniques, including the remarkable design and engineering of the flying buttresses, which left very little room for error.
On April 15, 2019, the world saw a fire ravage Notre-Dame, tearing apart the 12th-century cathedral, destroying two-thirds of its roof and collapsing its world-famous spire. The exhibition revisits this tragic day and offers a closer look at the brave firefighters of Paris who fought the fire for hours to preserve the building and its treasures as much as possible.
Fire that devastated Notre-Dame on April 15, 2019 Credit: Patrick Zachmann
The current restoration of the building is a major focus of the exhibit, as HistoPad technology allows visitors to see workers in action rebuilding the elaborate architecture and rebuilding this sacred cathedral, including the stabilization required after the fire was over. . The experience provides insight into how the restoration team uses historical and scientific evidence to inform ongoing work to repair the cathedral.
“The National Building Museum is the perfect place for this exhibit to make its U.S. debut,” said Bruno de Sa Moreira, co-founder and CEO of Histovery. “The Museum was created to preserve and celebrate the arts of construction and its mission is to inspire curiosity about the world we design and build. This orientation, and its commitment to give priority to the role of innovation in their programming, is fully in line with our objectives.
“We are thrilled to bring this premier exhibit to the United States and believe it offers a new way to experience one of the world’s most iconic buildings.” said Aileen Fuchs, president and executive director of the National Building Museum. “Visitors will experience first-hand how technology can contribute to our understanding of buildings. The unique and immersive virtual nature of the exhibit provides a window into this World Heritage Site.
MUSEUM HOURS – Friday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is located on the second floor. After June 1 – Thursday – Monday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.