The Book of Kells Experience

The long room reimagined - an immersive experience

The Old Library at Trinity College Dublin is one of Ireland’s most visited attractions, and is home to many of the nation’s most treasured items, including the the Book of Kells, the magnificent Long Room, and national symbol of Ireland – the Trinity College harp. In response to significant conservation challenges, Trinity College Dublin has been forced to close the Old Library, while it undergoes major new redevelopment works, leaving the university without one of its greatest touristic assets.

To fill this void, a new, interim exhibition has been created, The Book of Kells experience. As part of this, NOVAK was commissioned to create an immersive experience that explored the rich history and future of the Long Room.

Working in collaboration with exhibition design studio, Event, NOVAK created The Long Room reimagined, a media rich immersive experience. This installation takes the form of a set build that mimicked the physical characteristics of this iconic Long Room, and was completely transformed via a complex array of projection and multi channel audio. Almost every surface of the structure is projection mapped, taking visitors on a fantastic journey from the library’s inception, into many of its most treasured books and artifacts and culminating in visions of its future.  

For the sonic component of this installation, NOVAK collaborated with long time associate, Ed Carter, who provided musical direction, arrangements, and production. The result was a beautiful and dramatic score featuring a themed collection of traditional compositions, many of which were sourced from the Trinity College Collection itself. The pieces were arranged to accompany a newly scripted narration, and performed by celebrated harpist Siobhán Armstrong on her exquisite replica of the iconic Trinity College harp.


Long Room reimagined by NOVAK Produced in partnership with Event

Music direction and production – Ed Carter
Harpist – Siobhán Armstrong
Harp recording studio technician – Anna Rose Garvey
Trinity bell recordings – Andrew Bonehill and Ellen Jane Kruger
With thanks to Enda Bates

Technical installation by Rockbrook AV

Special thanks to ISO Design, the team at Trinity College Dublin and all our other collaborators.

Installation video by NOVAK
Photos by Ste Murray