A moving experience

Client: Auckland Philharmonia

APO Website + digital experience v2a2

Our new APO website is a stage for a multi-sensory immersive experience created to transport visitors to an APO concert with visual drama, audio immersion and audience participation.

The Brief

The Auckland Philharmonia (APO) is Auckland’s premium orchestra. During 2023 APO developed a new logo that represents a moving sound wave and a new brand promise Let us move you. This positioning reflects the immersive power of an APO performance, taking audiences on an emotional storytelling journey.

We were asked to design a contemporary and visually engaging website that expressed this new brand promise and introduced new audiences to the APO.

The solution

Let us move you was the inspiration for our work. We wanted the website to be a stage for a multi-sensory immersive experience that would move audiences in the same way as if attending an APO performance. This meant visual drama, audio immersion and audience participation. Our vision was to virtually transport visitors to an APO concert, providing a new perspective for those who hadn’t engaged with the APO before and a new experience for seasoned concertgoers.

The experience begins on the home page with a 3D view of the Auckland Town Hall: a performance is about to begin. As you zoom in, you see and hear the orchestra getting ready to play. Your next interaction initiates a series of musical performances, performed by the APO. Each performance visualises the new APO logo as sound waves elegantly dancing across the screen in perfect harmony with the music, creating a mesmerising blend of sight and sound. As you immerse yourself further, you find yourself on the stage amongst the players, with options to dive deeper into the website.

The website also features two other immersive experiences. The first is a virtual tour of the historic Auckland Town Hall, highlighting key features and locations, taking away uncertainty for those who haven’t been to this venue before. The second experience provides an engaging way to understand the various players and instruments involved in an APO performance. It provides a simple and engaging way to learn more about the different sections of the orchestra and to connect with each individual player via their bios.

This experience was generated using cutting-edge 3D spatial scanning (photogrammetry) of the Town Hall, working alongside a specialist partner. Each of the 70+ players on stage are designed to carefully represent where each player sits, the instrument they play and how they perform during a live concert.

A stylised approach was adopted to reinforce a 3D virtual world, allowing visitors to engage with the overall experience rather than being distracted by real world details. While the experience represents the dark immersive atmosphere of an actual concert, key aspects of the APO’s brand palette come through in the colours and in the movement.

Testing with concert-goers, and APO newbies, allowed ongoing refinement of the UX and UI elements, and to achieve higher levels of engagement.

The result

This experience is thought to be the first of its kind offered by any orchestra anywhere in the world. Auckland Philharmonia’s Chief Executive, Diana Weir, said, “We’re delighted with the end result and the window it opens for audiences to connect with us. Whether it’s students in a classroom, regular concertgoers, or those considering attending one of our concerts for the first time, this new interactive experience provides greater access and new ways to engage with Auckland’s orchestra.”