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Sunderland City Council plans immersive 5G screen


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Artist's impression of immersive screen
Image source: Sunderland City Council

Sunderland City Council has unveiled plans for one of the UK’s largest immersive screens to be placed in Keel Square in the city centre.

It described the Sunderland Pavilion – a temporary structure constructed of glass and panels and set in a metal frame – as a contemporary glass house that will provide a centrepiece for Expo Sunderland events in 2026.

It will stand in place of the large digital screen currently located in the square and produce a range of visual displays, some in 3D, and will be capable of streaming live content from anywhere in the world using the city’s 5G network and special cameras. It will comprise three screens, one of 10x5 metres in the centre and two wings of 5x5 metres each.

The council said it will provide an immersive experience to make people feel part of their connected city.

The building has been designed by local company Building Design Northern and the project is being delivered with Boldyn Networks.

Capturing the imagination

Liz St Louis, director of smart cities and enabling services at Sunderland City Council, said: “The immersive nature of the structure itself will bring to life amazing displays and interactive exhibitions that really capture the imagination. The expansive size of the screen that stands above will enable us to develop captivating content that will seemingly float in the air above the house, offering a truly thrilling experience.

“We want to showcase pioneering smart concepts for the future home in Sunderland in a building that pushes boundaries and sparks imagination. By presenting innovative ideas into spaces to live, work and play; we are creating a blueprint that adapts to the needs of residents while harmonising with the urban landscape of the future.

“This aligns seamlessly with our expo plans and the transformational effect Riverside Sunderland’s vision has to offer thousands of people, as well as trailblazing the future content of Culture House, which will open its doors in 2025.”

Funding for the build comes from part of the £37 million 5G Innovation Regions grant from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

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