Centre Charlemagne

Bringing the past to life

cc header

summary

eda.c supported the City of Aachen (Germany) in representing the new flagship museum Centre Charlemagne in the digital realm. Together with our specialised partner agencies Anamnesia and Advisa from Strasbourg, we developed a digital counterpart of the brand new exhibition space and key exhibits. Beyond supporting the entire visitor journey across various touchpoints, the resulting website enables a look into Aachen's past and Charlemagne as a key figure in European history.

client

Aachen is the westernmost city of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. The city's culture department led the creation of the Centre Charlemagne as a new hub in the region's cultural landscape, reflecting many centuries of history. While the era of Charlemagne's residence plays a major role in the story to be told, the exhibition draws an arc to Aachen's present role as a European city. Our client intended to make the digital experience complementary to the physical visit, and was looking for a way to express the richness in content and exhibits online.

outcomes

The Centre's new website reaches a balance between the practical side of a museum's online presence, and conveying what the exhibition has to offer using digital means. While key tasks for visitors and other target groups are universally accessible, the user may travel back in time and experience a set of digital exhibits even on a smart phone.

activities

We started with an extensive discovery phase, looking at visitor journeys, stakeholder concerns and a large amount of historical content. It was also crucial to understand the story and the context of the exhibition, and to develop a shared understanding about the intents and objectives behind the project. In collaboration with the client, we developed a set of models representing the tasks and motivations of visitors and other users, as well as key messages and the story line to be represented. This allowed us to align physical and digital components of the museum experience into one coherent picture.

Our visual design is based on the triangular structure of Aachen's city layout, a unique superimposed structure that results from almost two millennia of construction.

The site features dedicated sections for target groups besides individual visitors. Another key section of the site features an interactive exploration of the several eras represented in the exhibition.

The site connects the historical content with the physical exhibition. It addresses typical top tasks for museum websites such as a one-stop glance at today's opening hours from a mobile device, but also allows for an individual preparation of the visit. The fully accessibility-compliant site has been implemented using Wordpress CMS, and also serves as content pool for kiosk terminals, physical exhibits and screens available around and inside the building.

clientCity of Aachen
peopleMilan Guenther, Dennis Middeke
partnersAnamnesia, Advisa
duration2013 – 2014
URLwww.centre-charlemagne.eu