The Museum of military uniform

Goal

To develop a concept and design project for the museum, located in downtown estate of the XIX century and occupiting the 1200 sq.m area, to create audiovisual and interactive content, to develop, manufacture and carry out commissioning of multimedia installations equipment.

3D tour of the exhibition

Our work on the exposition of the Museum of military uniforms, existing under the auspices of the Russian Society of Military History, began in 2017. The first stage was the development of a new corporate identity and identity of the Museum, during which we considered many options, but eventually settled on a concise, but at the same time referring to the history design. 

Then, based on the scientific concept developed by the Museum specialists, we started to work on the design project. The Museum is situated in the Vasilchikov estate, an architectural monument of the XVIII — XIX centuries. The total area of the premises is about 1200 sq. m., but the difficulty was that the rooms that form the enfilade and had to accommodate the exhibition are small in size, and they had to place showcases and mannequins. In this regard, we have made maximum use of the walls, placing infographic timelines on them, supplemented by screens with thematic content and multimedia installations. 

The next step was to write scripts for the installations. We studied a large number of historical sources and literature, worked with libraries, museum collections, archives and experts. It was very important for us and the Museum not only to observe the historical accuracy, but also to reflect the spirit of the respective era, for which we actively used scenography and lighting solutions.

A total of 86 multimedia installations were placed in 16 halls. In almost every hall there is an information and reference kiosk, which allows you to see images of uniforms of a certain era, portraits of its heroes, learn about the iconic battles and read the main documents related to changes in military uniforms. The kiosk also performs a navigation function and allows you to build a visitor route inside the Museum.

One of the largest installations was "The Battle of Borodino". This panoramic projection on a semicircular wall 7 meters long with cross-linking images from 3 projectors immerses the visitor in the context of the famous battle. The visitor can choose one of the 15 Russian regiments located on the map in accordance with historical plans, and see a detailed drawn form, the scheme of the regiment during the battle, supplemented with explanations, a quote about the heroes of the regiment and a photo of the monument to this regiment, installed on the Borodino field.

Another major installation was "Theater of the Russian-Turkish War of 1877–1878". On the wall with a map of the European and Transcaucasian military theaters attached a 46' touch screen. By moving it on the rails along the image, visitors can launch content dedicated to one of the 4 major battles of the conflict. We have produced 3D models of figures of soldiers, officers and artillery of the Russian and Turkish army on the preserved samples and images. Russian soldiers and their uniforms can be seen by touching the screen. All the scenes and backgrounds for them were drawn in 3D and animated using computer graphics, and all the movements of the figures on the ground occur in accordance with the descriptions of the battles.

For the holographic installation "Store Manager" we organized filming in a chromakey pavilion with an actor who played the role of a clerk in the department store of the Guards economic society of the early 1910s. All the names, titles, and ranks he names are real; these officers actually existed and were in the regiments mentioned. All the exhibits, which the clerk mentions are displayed here as well. The entourage was complemented by custom-made furniture, reproducing the appearance of the trading hall of a military department store.

In the last hall dedicated to the army of modern Russia, visitors can see in detail the "Soldier of the Future". On the basis of our concept, a mannequin was produced, as well as equipment, dummy weapons and protective elements. Around the mannequin are three tablets with a specially designed augmented reality application. With it, you can see infographics with the main characteristics of the explosion-scheme of each element of the soldier’s uniform.

Other installations are also of interest: an interactive projection "Silhouettes" with 14 figures related to the time periods of halls, a large-scale audiovisual narrative with projection on 3 walls "Battle of Molodi" dedicated to  the 1572 battle, an interactive show about the battles of the Seven years war, VR binoscope with animation of the paintings of A. E. Kotzebue "Battle on the Devil’s Bridge,"a  touch table with a diagonal of 65', which combines two games — on the assembly and cutting of the uniforms, the projection of animated pictures I. E. Repin's "Reception of Township Elders by Alexander III", audio installations, such as "Letters from the Front" and "Commander's Telephones", a "T-34 Tank" video mapping, chronicle installations, and the final point of the route — a short film "Heroes of Russia", for which we organized casting and shooting that was later supplemented with CG. 

The children's line is represented by a number of installations. In each hall of the Museum, its hero, a soldier or an officer of the corresponding era, tells the child about his uniform, about the relationship of changes in the uniforms of the army with the history of the country, the symbols and significant events of his time. This story in the form of an animated video is complemented by quiz elements.

The opening of the Museum took place on December 12, 2019. Among the first guests were the mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin, Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, Russian Minister of Education Olga Vasilyeva, Director of the Hermitage museum Mikhail Piotrovsky and others. They noted that the new exhibition apart of being contemporary, diverse and focus on both adult visitors and children, successfully combines original authentic exhibits and multimedia contents, thus allowing visitors to immerse in the historical context.