Parliament: The Immersive Experience

Produced by the Library of Parliament, Parliament: The Immersive Experience is a 45-minute multimedia attraction that takes visitors on a 360° journey through the main Parliament Building, also known as Centre Block, which closed in 2019 for long-term rehabilitation. The experience brings the history, art and architecture of this iconic building to life in vivid sensory detail.

Located at 211 Sparks Street in downtown Ottawa, the attraction includes an exhibit, as well as an immersive show featuring large-scale projections of key spaces in the Parliament Building, including the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, Peace Tower and Memorial Chamber. With immersive sound, narration and visual effects, it also spotlights some of the decisions and debates that took place at Parliament over almost 100 years.

Description

Centre Block, the historical seat of Canada’s Parliament, closed in 2019 for long-term renovations. This landmark attraction previously welcomed some 350,000 visitors each year. To ensure that Canadians can continue to access and experience the building during the closure, the Library of Parliament mandated XYZ to develop an innovative, high-quality visitor experience using immersive technologies and rich creative elements to showcase the art and architecture of the building, as well as its role in the lives of Canadians, past and present.

This multimedia journey takes place under the umbrella of Time, set by the iconic Peace
Tower on Parliament Hill. As the clock marks the time, the space is transformed through lighting, audiovisual content, and sound, diversifying the experience, and creating a continual feeling of anticipation and excitement. It also marks the moments where visitors must transition to the next room, so a new group of visitors can enter the first space.

In the first room, visitors are invited to discover the spaces, role, and functioning of Parliament, as well as its history, through a variety of stimulating learning experiences. The scenography highlights, through backlit drawings, the beauty, and wonders of the building’s architecture. Its colourful and highly accessible design, which includes tactile elements and high-contrast graphics, renders the content approachable and inviting while upholding the dignity of Parliament with a respectful tone. It also provides visitors with the background and context needed for Room 2.

In Room 2, visitors embark on an impressionistic journey that features large-scale imagery and audiovisual immersion. Centre Block is the site of events and decisions that have shaped the country for almost a hundred years. In this room, visitors explore some of these memories.

With limited content and no access to the Centre Block building during renovations, we leveraged the existing building scans through a powerful game engine that revealed the building’s spectacular-looking architecture.

Credits:
Design and production: XYZ Technologies | cadabra
Director, Scriptwriter and Experience Designer: Étienne Paquette
Producer: Dildel Lavoie
Project Manager and Art Director: Carolina Iregui
Fly Studio: Audiovisual Production House
Design firm:
Lupien Matteau inc
Composer and Sound Designer: Javier Asencio
Technical Director: Simon Perrier
Programmer: Balint Buchert
Designer and Project Coordinator: Madeleine Bruneau
Architect and Scenographer: Anne-Marie Matteau
Graphic Design firm: Pastille Rose
Lighting Designer: Garou Blancan

Interactive Director: Carolina Iregui
Interactive Coding: Ottomata
Sound recording and spatialization: Troublemakers Client: Library of Parliament of Canada
Project lifespan: Permanent (estimated duration of 5–10 years)
Duration of production: 3.5 years (production delayed due to pandemic)
Language: English and French

Expertise

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Lighting
  • Interactivity

Mandate

Design
Technical direction
Musical direction
Sound recording
Equipment supply
Installation
Calibration and programming
Scenography

Production

XYZ Technologies

Video