Located in Kerkrade, a town in the southeast of Limburg, the southernmost province of the Netherlands, Columbus earth theatre is inspired by astronauts who describe their most unique experiences from space.
In the theater, visitors stand on a glass ring looking down on a 17 meter diameter and 6 meter deep projection screen. The screen has a cylindrical shaped projection surface lit by several 4K projectors and coated with Screen Goo Ultra Max Contrast. Visitors find themselves at the top of the world in the most literal sense of the word and look down at the earth from a completely new perspective “floating like an astronaut”!
The Columbus Earth Theater is made up of three parts:
- A pre-show room
- The Earth Theater
- The 3D National Geographic Theater
The pre-show room is a space that provides access to approximately 180 people and is situated underground. In this area, visitors get an introduction to the theme of the production they are about to see in the earth theatre. The main show element in this pre-show room is formed by a large and several smaller screens, upon which video will be projected.
The earth theater is the most special part of Columbus. In this theatre the visitor looks down from two circular rings to a projection, which gives the feeling of looking down on earth from a ‘satellite perspective’. This spectacular theatre is the world’s first and gives visitors an entirely different view of Earth (including the past, present and future).
The theatre is designed as such that it can display a variety of productions. These productions, or shows, will display subjects ranging from local mining history to climate change. Central to these shows will be the creation of a unique experience.
The 3D National Geographic Theater & Auditorium accommodates approximately 180 people.
The auditorium has multiple functions. First, it will be used as an ‘after-show’ theater, where visitors of the Earth Theater can reflect on the things they saw through an extra documentary or discussion panel. Second, it will be programmed as a 3D National Geographic Theater, showing National Geographic content.
Photos by Shift architecture & urbanism.
The system engineering and construction of the AV equipment has been done by Lagotronics Projects BV.