Áróra, Perlan Museum’s Planetarium

  • Client: Perlan Museum
  • Location: Reykjavík, Iceland

Áróra is a first-of-its-kind planetarium film created by Thinkwell Studio Montréal that takes its audience on an immersive audio-visual journey into the heart of Iceland to experience the country’s legendary landscapes bathed in Nordic lights at the Perlan Museum. To accurately capture the aurora in its true form, Thinkwell Studio Montréal also developed a custom 360° camera rig to shoot the film, which consisted of 6 synchronized cameras, to capture simultaneous shots, thus obtaining a real-time panorama in unparalleled 8K resolution.

One of the key challenges of this project was to recreate the ethereal beauty of northern lights and offer the audience an experience that is both scientific and artistic. To understand the science behind the mystery of the aurora borealis, the team gathered data from NASA plus drew on stories and legends around the world to develop the narrative side of the project. The result combines two modes of perception: one sensory, based on natural phenomena, and the other poetic, inspired by oral traditions and myths.

In its final execution, Áróra embodies the goddess of the dawn; her voice guides guests through time and space for an unforgettable adventure. An original soundtrack accompanies the story, a collaboration with renowned Icelandic musicians and composers, Petur Jonsson and Ragnhildur Gísladottir.

To set the scene before the show, the team in Montréal also developed and produced a generative sound installation within the entrance to the Planetarium, where the lighting system reacts to the original soundtrack. This unique environment creates a subtle dialogue between the light and sound, inviting the audience to dive into this fantastic story.


This project was completed prior to Thinkwell’s acquisition of Réalisations-Montréal in 2019.  Réalisations-Montréal is now Thinkwell Studio Montréal.