The Inside the Mansion mobile app developed by GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia using virtual and augmented reality is available for download from RuStore.
Users will be able to take part in an immersive audio performance dedicated to the Zinaida Morozova mansion (17 Spiridonovka Street) built by famous architect Fyodor Schechtel.
Now the building, justly recognized as one of the most stunning buildings in Moscow, houses the Reception House of the MFA of Russia hosting international summit meetings. Though there was a time when only distinguished guests could get into this building, a symbol of Russian diplomacy abroad, now everyone who downloads the Inside the Mansion mobile app can ‘walk’ through its most beautiful interiors.
The mobile app allows users to delve into history, while game mechanics make this experience interactive. The application includes: an immersive transmedia performance, which takes place in 5 different halls; 29 digitized interior elements for a more detailed study; educational sections to learn more about the history of the mansion, the life of its owners and creators; and a map of cultural heritage sites to take a walk through the city.
Some characters welcome guests in each of the five halls where the performance takes place. For example, entering the Anteroom, visitors have to choose a guide — a snake or a dog. By the way, these images have been chosen deliberately: they adorn banisters and delight visitors to this day.
Zinaida Morozova greets users in the Fireplace Hall — during the life of the owners, there was a dining room where the Morozov family often gathered so her monologue is dedicated to family values.
Savva Morozov tells visitors about career success and soft skills to succeed and how to philosophically accept the impermanence of life in the Bogaevsky Hall. Today this room is known by the name of the artist who painted the walls of this hall by order of the new owner of the house, Mikhail Ryabushinsky, to whom the mansion was sold after the death of S. Morozov..
Fyodor Schechtel, who often visited the owners of the house, shares a positive outlook on life and optimism, appearing in the White Hall, which often hosted magnificent celebrations and brought together members of the Moscow society.
Mikhail Vrubel ends the story. He greets a viewer at his architectural masterpiece ‘Robert and Bertram’, telling about the torments of art and proclaiming strength, happiness and joy that art brings.
Participants in the immersive performance will hear stories about rectitude people need today and learn some historical facts.
Images of historical characters have been processed using neural networks — this is how an immersive experience is created. Sound is used to provide complete immersion in the atmosphere of the mansion — the user finds themselves in a real audio theater with the sounds of the era. For example, it contains a scene where the clock strikes, which today strikes in the fireplace hall every 15 minutes or the White Hall shows a performance by Fyodor Chaliapin, who once performed there. The performance features other realistic details, at the end of one of the scenes, the user gets a key that still locks one of the mansion’s doors.
“The app has been developed as part of the GlavUpDK program to promote cultural heritage sites managed by our Company. Generally, GlavUpDK is the only custodian of reliable information, archival and current photographs related to these buildings. To develop this area, we have decided to launch a digital product based on the up-to-date features of media content distribution and the peculiarities of information perception by the younger generation. This tech development using virtual and augmented reality and game mechanics is an example of the state-of-the-art educational technologies. In addition, the project adopts the approach to inclusiveness of cultural and historic sites, as well as the technological development of urban and tourist infrastructure,” said Vyacheslav Fatin, Acting Head of GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia.
A team of programmers, scriptwriters, artists and actors led by Evgeny Mandelstam, Immerse Lab’s producer, playwright and founder, took part in the development of the application and the performance.
GlavUpDK will present the Inside the Mansion app to the professional community on July 4. On this occasion, the Reception House of the MFA of Russia will host an Open Dialogue “How to tell a story to arouse interest”. The participants in the dialogue will discuss this problems and share their best practices, the solutions proposed during the event will be able to influence the use of the state-of-the-art educational technologies and be taken into account when updating the GlavUpDK app.
In 2023, GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia will turn 102. GlavUpDK’s predecessor was the Foreigner Service Bureau established in 1921 by the Council of Labor and Defense. During the last century, GlavUpDK became a modern specialized company accommodating and servicing diplomatic missions from abroad, representative offices of international organizations, or foreign mass media, according to the international commitments of the Russian Federation.
GlavUpDK manages more than 130 mansions intended to accommodate diplomatic missions and representative offices of international organizations, including masterpieces by world-renowned masters and genuine heritage sites.
GlavUpDK safeguards invaluable heritage sites and restores their original beauty while providing foreign diplomats with living and working conditions as befits their high status in Russia.
GlavUpDK measures to preserve cultural heritage sites have high praise from colleagues, control bodies and common Muscovites. The Company has won the Moscow Government’s Moscow Restoration Award repeatedly.