Figueras had the challenge to integrate technology to this elegant seat to provide an immersive experience that combines virtual reality and sorrounding sound 360° that allows the audience to feel classical music.
Symphony is an experience. An experience that takes place in two mobile units that, when unfolded, turn into two rooms of one hundred square meters each. In the first of the two rooms, equipped with a screen of more than ten metres, the spectator can enjoy the panoramic projection of a video where music and sounds become the main characters. In the second room, equipped with Figueras seats, virtual reality and 360° technology take the spectator to experience the instruments from the inside and to feel like an orchestral musician, at the hands of the Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel.
Fundación La Caixa, along with the architectural firm Torres-Grané Arquitectes, Calaf Industrial and SIDE, designed both rooms. This project’s requirements, in terms of seating, embraced different aspects. Not only the design and comfort of the product was important, but also the technological and engineering capabilities and the possibility of being able to modify the seat to suit the essential needs of the show. The seats had to be individual, to preserve the space and the safety of each user, in addition the seats had to provide a certain freedom of movement that could be executed by each spectator with complete independence.
Figueras was chosen to provide a seating solution to meet all these needs, by combining aesthetics, comfort, innovation and technology in a unique single product. The model chosen was the Woody RT, with an elegant wood finish, which is characterised by being able to provide the occupant with a linear movement of 17cm and a 360 degree rotation simultaneously. In addition, the Woody RT has a system that automatically returns the seat to its original position when the spectator vacates it. By this means, the room is always neat with no effort at all, while making it easier for users to move between rows.
The main challenge of the project was to integrate the essential equipment into the seat itself so that the spectators could fully dive into the immersive acoustic and visual experience. In order to incorporate the complex virtual reality and audio equipment into the seat, Figueras’ designers and engineers worked alongside the architecture firm’s and Fundación “La Caixa” teams to develop a piece where all the connections could be located in the back of the seat, slightly modifying the design but without affecting the distinctive functionalities of the seat. The original design of the seat has also been modified by adding a holder on one of the sides, allowing the virtual reality glasses to be stored when not in use. This feature, together with the automatic return of the seat to its original position, ensures that the room remains neat and tidy when the spectators leave the space.
This itinerant project is expected to travel around Spain and Portugal over the next ten years. You can check which city Symphony is currently in at the following link: Fundación “La Caixa”