VISYON & The Holy Quran Academy in Sharjah
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Custom 180° curved screen
Located in Sharjah, the Holy Quran Academy is an institution that develops the skills of those working in the field of Quran studies, along with preserving the Quran in all its forms including manuscript, print, audio and digital.
The Academy hosts a number of museums on a range of Quran-related themes. One such hall focuses on the links between human science and the writings in the Quran. Within this hall, one set of installations details the story of the universe from its creation to the ‘big crunch’. Another set details the lifecycle of a human from birth to death.
To bring the two narratives together, alongside passages from the Quran, the Academy wanted a showpiece that would exclusively host VIP guests of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi. The Academy went to the innovative experience creators VISYON with its request for an outstanding installation. And, in turn, VISYON came to Igloo.
We’d worked with our good friends at VISYON previously, including multiple events for the Cornerstone Partnership. So, the team at VISYON knew they could rely on our immersive expertise and know-how to create something special for the Academy - and to be able to work around certain quirks of the space that would accommodate the installation.
VISYON initially considered the use of VR headset stations, but the Academy was keen to avoid any awkwardness among VIPs with putting on headsets. VISYON also considered a 360° dome, but the constraints of the space, such as positions of pillars in the hall, meant a full dome wouldn’t fit. So, we specified a unique 180° half-dome solution - a screen that would curve around and above its audience to create a more immersive experience than just a long flat screen. Reaching four metres in height and 12 metres in width, the curved immersive screen truly makes for an eye-catching centrepiece.
Of course, the experience would be nothing without the content, expertly created by VISYON. A spectacular CGI film brings together the stories of the creation of the universe, and the human race, overlaid with passages from the Quran to create a unique narrative. The Academy provided dedicated researchers to advise on the scientific content at every stage, from the storyboarding to the script, to the animation. The resulting film is warped and blended seamlessly across the immersive screen via the Igloo Warper application.
This particular project was notable too for the fact that it was the first instance of us working alongside partners AVI-SPL to deliver the installation. It was also one of the first Igloo projects delivered amidst the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.