aquatic and wellness centre

Sunderland City Council developed a landmark building housing the largest Olympic sized swimming pool in the North of England, between Leeds and Edinburgh. The £20m Aquatic and Wellness Centre was built as part of a regeneration development and to support the Olympic 2012 bid ambitions, which were fulfilled.

The Brief

The challenge was to bring the building to life and project the 'Tropic of Sunderland' artwork by nationally renowned animator Daniel Brown. Four companies were invited to submit proposals for a projection installation at the 50m Olympic swimming pool. Due to the varied responses and questions posed by each company, the council asked each company to submit an outline solution and budget for the job.

The Solution

The rear façade of the impressive new aquatic centre is south facing and has a glazed area over 4m high and nearly 5m wide. This is used as a projection screen from dusk till 11pm. The projection was achieved by a rear mounted projector, housed in the Plant room and projecting the images onto the translucent interlayer glazing system. The projector brightness and source inputs as well as the lens are crucial and needed to be "future proof". The plant room is 7.5m from the glazed screen and the lens had to be capable of achieving a screen size of a "non standard" 4.37m by 4.95m projection area.

aquatic and wellness centreUniversal AV Services Ltd was selected on the basis of their solution and system design submission. Richard Hollinshead of Grit & Pearl, a Public Art Consultancy employed by Sunderland Council to deliver the project, was responsible for the selection process and Universal AV Services Ltd worked directly with Richard and Sunderland City Council to deliver the project. Universal AV Services Ltd had a previous relationship with Sunderland City Council and has since developed an ongoing relationship providing AV services to Grit & Pearl.


"Universal AV stood out for us because of their expertise and willingness to trial products and 'prove' the technology. They arranged use of projectors for a 1:1 scale test, and subsequently provided a turnkey solution that addressed all our concerns about usability, maintenance and, most importantly, image quality. They were on hand throughout, and have remained professionally involved as we develop new projects."

Richard Hollinshead, Director, Grit & Pearl.

Tech Spec

  • 1 X Panasonic PT-D10000
  • c/w ET-D75LE2 mid range lens
  • AMX events Unit
  • Networked PC
  • Rear projected image onto Pilkinson diffused glass