Pirate Experience Room at Bornholm's Medieval Center
The project scope
In 2021, Bornholms Middelaldercenter (Bornholm’s Medieval Center) opened a new pirate experience room.
The experience is based on the history and legends about the pirates who roamed the Baltic Sea in the 14th Century.
The Medieval Center wanted to offer an experience for their guests that would help them learn about the pirates and their missions and engage them with interactive activities inside and outside the room.
The room size is approximately 52m², with one entrance for guests and one for staff.
Experience room with the title “Middelalderens Sørøvere i Østersøen” (The Medieval Pirates of the Baltic Sea)
AdventureLAB worked together with the Medieval Center not only to provide the creative content but also to design the exhibition applying the latest storytelling-based design methodology.
The 52m² room was transformed to resemble a ship deck, with a backdrop of a minimalised sunset over the sea. The room combined learning with sensory experience, gameplay, multimedia content and immersive design.
The story and experience were interconnected with the application of Integrated Storytelling. Read below for a more detailed explanation.
The small closed room allowed us to create a themed space where we could control the light, crowd movement, and audience engagement.
The transition from outside into the room takes place on a “bridge”. We step on it, as if from the pier, and onto the ship. Therefore, right from the entrance, we are already engaged in the narrative of the room.
As we enter the room, we find ourselves on the deck of a cog (a type of a medieval ship). The space tells the story of the medieval pirates through different objects we can find here. From weapons to food to board games, we get an idea of what a day on the ship might have looked like. We move around the room and upwards on the ladder leading to the castle to discover the different objects and micro-stories.
The content of the experience room is presented in a variety of formats: from text to video to audio stories, to gamification. We kept the text display to a minimum and therefore used a guidebook and a set of symbols at each point of interest for navigation. An original piece of ambience music is synchronised with the day and night theme of a map projection on one of the walls.
Using a set of symbols for each point of interest in the room, we built a game based on exploration. Using the book, the object in the room, and a map, we find the answers to the questions that help us discover the destination of the room. This game is simple to play by the younger guests on their own or with the help of the parents.
As history is reflected in real stories, we introduced a few historical characters and let them tell their stories as if in their own words. We are introduced to the context by a narrator and then thrown right in the middle of the main events described by the characters. Using the technology of QR codes, we listen to the stories on our own devices.
The elements in the experience room work together, aligning in the story universe – StoryVerse. The audio stories reflect various aspects of the pirate life, as do the objects in the room. The “ship” theme zooms into everyday life, while the audio stories, the projected map and the game zoom out to a wider view of history, putting Bornholm in the context of the Hanseatic wars, battles for the Danish crown, and more.
Play a short excerpt from the ambient music
Concept and design
Creative content (storytelling, digital and print media, graphics)
Anna Maria Kristensen
Klaus Sommer Paulsen
Room design concept visualisation:
Rylander : Kure
Kristin la Cour