Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tholos & Theatron by Foundation of Hellenic World

The "Tholos" is the Foundation's new dome-shaped Virtual Reality "Theatre" with a capacity of 130 people. It is a building of exceptional architectural design and with unique technological infrastructure, which hosts FHW's   " Foundation of  Hellenic World"  digital collections.
The "Tholos" resembles a planetarium regarding its natural and morphological characteristics. However, their only common characteristic is the semi-circular shape of the projection surface. The exterior shape of the "Tholos" refers to a whirling celestial body. It a sensation that is rendered through the processing of surfaces and the selection of materials, such as the successive rings that surround the external shell and the special lights that make it stand out during the night. Thus, the "Tholos" becomes a symbol of Hellenism and characterizes Pireos street.
The shows will be interactive, controlled by the spectator, and not static. It is a unique experience of immersion into the virtual world, which is characterized by immediate response, flexibility, originality and liveliness.
The building complex has three main areas.

The "THEATRON", the new multipurpose room of the "Hellenic World" is the main design features the versatility and flexibility and is designed with the latest technical and architectural specifications. These data provide the unique possibilities of redeployment and change layout depending on the requirements of each event, so the space can accommodate the most demanding productions: drama and musical performances, concerts, conferences, corporate events, exhibitions and performances with special stage requirements. Also, the broadcasting equipment 'THEATRON "is unique for Greek standards.
The "Tholos" is the new hemispheric "Theatre" of Virtual Reality Institute, a capacity of 132 people. It is a high building architecture, with unique technological infrastructure, which hosts FHW's digital collections.
The "Tholos" resembles a planetarium in physical and morphological characteristics. However, their only common characteristic is the hemispherical shape of the projection surface. The exterior shape of the "Tholos" refers to a heavenly body whirling.
It is a feeling attributed to surface treatment and choice of materials, such as successive rings surrounding the outer shell and the special lighting to highlight during the night. The "Tholos" is a symbol of the "Hellenic World" and characterizes the street Piraeus.
The contents of the "Tholos" is taped, but is generated by sophisticated computer time visibility. It requires the active participation of the viewer, resulting in a two-way interactive experience.
The total time for each interactive production is about 60 minutes.
The "Ark", which is located in the "Hellenic World" is a stunning environment in which guests participate in virtual tours.
The system is an entire room dimensions 3x3x3 meters, where every wall and floor are projection screens. In each screen displayed digital image produced by an electronic supercomputer.
Inside the 'Ark' fit about ten people, wearing special glasses. These glasses allow them to see the stereoscopic projected image, ie give the user the sensation of depth, the sense that the image has a third dimension and that immersed in it. With the help of an interactive device hand-like three-dimensional mouse, visitors can move through the projected image or influence upon it.

The Virtual Reality tours are one of the most important poles of attraction to the public on "Greek World."
The three innovative systems "Tholos", the "Ark" and "Virtual Cinema" guests, wearing stereoscopic glasses and using a small navigation device, participate in virtual tours. Visiting cities and monuments that no longer exist, and experience the story special.
The tours highlighted are:
Athena in the Ancient Agora
Interactive Tour of Ancient Agora
Performance in the Ancient Agora
Tour Ancient Miletus
Tour of Ancient Olympia
The Earth is our home
The Workshop of Pheidias at Olympia
The temple of Zeus at Olympia
magic Wardrobe
Restoration of Ancient Asklipieio of Messini
Eureka! Stories by Archimedes
Searching for the liquid gold
Assemble the pots!
With their sails open ... on the waves of history

The design of the "Tholos" started in 2002. The studies of the project were elaborated under the supervision of FHW, and more specifically the Projects Coordination Department. The architectural studies were elaborated by the architects George Andreakis, Natalia Efraimoglou and Ioannis Tsiomis, the electrical mechanical studies by the company Diamantouros Ltd and the static studies by the company OMETE. The special technology studies were elaborated by the company Visual Acuity Ltd in cooperation with FHW's departments that were directly involved with the project: the Audiovisual Support Department and the Virtual Reality Department. The company Acuity Ltd. contributed to the architectural and functional design of the project. FHW's technical advisor for this project is the company KION ATE.
The state has actively supported the implementation of the project: the studies were funded by the Public Investment Programme, already from 2003, while the Management and Supervision of the project was also funded through the Public Investment Programme. In June 2004 the construction and the equipment of "Tholos" became part of the Attica Regional Operational Programme of the 3rd Community Support Framework, with funding 50% by the European Fund of Regional Development and 50% by State Funds, with an incorporation budget of 12,000,000 euro. The total cost of the project amounts to approximately 15,000,000 euro, including the studies, as well as the administration - supervision of the project.
The project was implemented adequately and transparently, abiding fully with the strict specifications of its design, in a short period of time. The construction began with the excavations in 2004, while the main construction works started in January 2005. The installation of the special technologies took place in 2006.


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