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A bigger picture: The Dali to create immersive dome experience

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering of The Dali Dome project that Stantec is designing. All images provided unless stated otherwise.

The Dali Museum had a hit with the immersive Van Gogh Alive exhibit. Visitors were delighted to encounter Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” “Sunflowers” and other masterworks during the walk-through experience in 2020 and ’21.

Temporary, touring exhibits like Van Gogh Alive provide The Dali Museum an opportunity to innovate, and bring fresh ways for new and existing audiences to experience art. Now, museum leaders want to create a space to feature the unique projections on a semi-permanent basis. 

The Dali has filed plans to create a dome structure, simply called The Dali Dome project, that would be built on 1.72 acres on the northeast portion of the property.  

“Our main building showroom is not adequate for projection mapping,” said Dali Museum Director Hank Hine. “Our visitors loved the Van Gogh Alive experience, and we want to expand those offerings to the public by building a semi-permanent provisional space within our current footprint.

“Technology has introduced a greater sense of reality and immersion. In oil paintings, its luminosity creates a better sense of reality than using water-based pigments as oil paintings reflect light off of land and water scenes, and we are able to project that.” 

A rendering of The Dali Dome and its proximity to the main museum building.  

The Dali Museum’s beloved Wish Tree, which is over 10 years old and has fallen at least four different times during its lifespan, will be removed for safety reasons and the dome will rise in its place. 

Hine said his team is working to expedite the process, especially as it may be years before The Dali can accomplish its long-desired goal of expanding the main building. 

“This project is completely unrelated to the referendum, which is about us using Lot 6. This is related to us reaching our goals of providing more education through art experiences using leading-edge technology,” Hine said. 

If the referendum does pass in November, the museum would be able to physically expand on Lot 6 on the opposite side of the building as the new dome.

“If it does pass, as we believe it ought to because The Dali is an important economic driver for the city, and this project would have such a positive impact in terms of education, this expansion will be completed years from now. We need new space for those experiences and this dome will help us bring it to visitors quicker,” he said. 

The 360-degree, 60-foot diameter dome structure would be approximately 2,500 square feet and could hold up to 250 people, although Hine said they would limit the number of visitors. 

Dali Museum executive director Hank Hine (at right) was among those taking photos during the November 2020 opening of “Van Gogh Alive.” Photo: Bill DeYoung.

Hine said he is aware of eight to 10 experiences like Van Gogh Alive that the dome could possibly house. 

“We have an abundance of material to draw from that’s delivered the same way as the Van Gogh Alive. We will have to convert the projections due to the 360-degree curvature of the dome,” he said. 

The Dali is working on the project with engineering firm Stantec, which has a Tampa office. 

Hine said he hopes to complete the project by April or May. The exterior dome would reflect The Dali’s branding. 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    HAL FREEDMAN

    September 29, 2022at5:25 pm

    Confused? 60′ diameter is about 11,000sf (1/4 acre). You mention 2,500sf…what’s the the other 3/4 of the space used for? Technology & admin??

  2. Avatar

    Carl

    September 30, 2022at11:02 am

    Claustrophobia perhaps

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