QK lightweight panels create circular 360° cinematic experience

Plymouth University to create a circular 360° cinematic experience

In 2013, QK worked with ‘Innovation for the Creative and Cultural Industries’, ICCI through Plymouth University to create a circular 360° cinematic experience.

To allow ‘film’ projection through the full visual and sensory scope of 360°, there was a requirement for a seamless circular projection screen ‘theatre’ within which the viewing audience were positioned.

Apart from the ‘super flat’ projection surface, the structure had a further requirement to provide suspension of a fabric ‘light inhibiting’ roof canopy, the sophisticated projection equipment, hidden cable management and discreet yet structural panel jointing with access doors.

Light weight and ease of construction was of paramount importance as the structure needed to be moved several times a year from venue to venue. The chosen QK panelling was Quikaboard Q10, with 6mm MDF facers at 100mm overall thickness and panel size of 2100 x 940mm. Sixty panels in total were required to form the ‘theatre’ enclosure.

At a diameter of 10 metres and an elevation of over 4 metres, the circular enclosure was a significant engineering structure. QK worked closely with structural engineers (previously partnered on the Westborough School project) to ensure that stringent safety measures were achieved, especially important due to use by the general public.

By the time materials and cutters for the critically accurate machining were on site QK had a very short manufacturing timescale.

The 100mm thick panels for this extremely prestigious job were manufactured at the company’s Brigg site and delivered in early June 2013.

“When we decided to design and build our 360 degree cinema facility, ‘The Rotunda’, QK Honeycomb were the logical partner. The modular design, constructed of 60 panels, is fantastic and the QK design and production team were central to realising our ambitions and creating this amazing immersive facility. The modular design and innovative structural elements enable the Rotunda to be installed in less than a day and it has be used in conferences and events in both the UK and Europe.”

Dave Hotchkiss, Centre Manager
AFFINITY, Plymouth University

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