The theater’s narrow footprint had its own set of spatial challenges, limiting audience size and seating viewers close to the set. The room needed to include a dramatic walk-in sequence, an introduction that would prepare visitors (primarily children) for the experience, eight different cautionary stories (before, during, and after the fire), escape plan tutorials, and an entry to a smoke corridor.
The project included one interactive, three linear media pieces, and a pre-show introduction to the immersive educational theater. The theater features eight different fire scenarios and educator tools such as escape plan videos and a heat door demonstration. The theater elements are individually programmed, allowing the guides to choose moments and sequences appropriate to the current audience.
Design + Execution
The 2020 opening of the FDNY Fire Zone signaled a new beginning for this education center. Having moved locations the new Fire Zone offers an exciting and enriched program and design layout. Each room was carefully mapped with a projection grid so that the projections seamlessly aligned with the set. The set elements, lighting, projection, and sound worked as a cohesive and tightly choreographed experience. The touch panel control system gives the firefighter educator flexibility to customize the experience for audience size, age, and season. The result is a meaningful, engaging, and accessible experience where all ages can learn the essentials of fire safety.
Visitors can try on turnout gear, sit in the jump seat of a full-scale fire engine truck and listen to real conversations between officers, dispatch, and firefighters on their way to an emergency; there’s a large projection detailing the unfolding of an emergency event.
The result being an important, engaging, and accessible experience for all ages to learn the essentials of fire safety.
batwin + robin productions (project design firm/photography)
Linda Batwin O’Donovan (creative director)
Adam Casini (senior producer)
Megan Gargagliano (senior producer)
Joy Tomasko, (writer)
Russell Steward, (senior editor)
Mark Paul, (art director/motion graphics artist)
Sandy Pan (motion graphics artist)
John Kuramoto (motion graphics artist)
Tim Kovolenko, (production coordinator)
Ashton Design (exhibit designer)
Stephen Carmody Design (theater scenic designer)
David Weiner Design (lighting designer)
Andy Green, Duotone Audio Group (audio designer)
Cigar Box Studios (set fabricator)
DUO Signage + Graphics (graphic fabrication and installation)
O’Donovan Consulting (theater and set consultation)
LB Architects (architect)
Synapse Audio Visual Designs
RomeAntics, A/V Design (av hardware integration and installation)
Hayden Production Services (theater lighting integration, equipment, and installation)
Robert Derector Associates (engineering)
batwin + robin productions