Breathing new life into world heritage sites

Increasing visitor times by over 24% at Caernarfon Castle, the ‘Legends of the Sky’ installation has since extended to other heritage sites, revitalising tourism in various regions.

The holographic installation allowed visitors to experience the flight of a dragon guiding them around the installation and training them through swipe gestures on connected iPad displays. The interactive experience attracted both new and repeat visitors to their historical sites as part of a ‘Love Castles’ campaign.


Increase in visitor dwell time at Caernarfon Castle


Higher dwell time at Caernarfon Castle than all other sites

The challenge

Cadw’s “Love Castles” campaign aimed to attract visitors of all ages to their historical sites, but they needed something truly exceptional, asking us to devise a ‘never-seen-before’ experience. The challenge was clear: we had to design an unparalleled physical installation that would resonate with diverse audiences while respecting the historical heritage site regulations.

castle wales
caernarfon castle steps

Ideation and innovation

With creative freedom at our fingertips, we embarked on an exciting journey of exploration. Our team held internal ideation sessions, diving into cutting-edge technologies that could revolutionise the visitor experience. 3D holographic displays emerged as a promising avenue, allowing us to delve into sound design, custom hardware, 3D modelling, and animation—all tailored to the unique logistics of on-site installation.

hologram hardware
cadw dragon hologram by Rant agency
cadw dragon hologram by Rant agency
cadw dragon hologram by Rant agency
dragon holographic image cadw

Customisation and prototyping

Our commitment to excellence led us to extensive technical prototyping and iterative refinement. We designed custom hardware solutions to meet our specifications, ensuring that every component would contribute to the magic of “Legends of the Sky.”

Fully bespoke 3D models and animations

The 3D nature of the project allowed us to iteratively create 4 dragon models for the experience. With each dragon having slightly different character attributes to appeal to Cadw’s audiences. Not only did we define the look of the models but the way they were to move around the holographic display using gesture controls.

Overcoming logistical challenges

The logistical challenges were substantial. The installation, constructed with precision in our studio, had to be carefully disassembled, transported over nearly 200 miles, and reconstructed within the castle walls. The size and weight of the holographic case, combined with historical castle constraints, posed formidable obstacles. Overcoming these hurdles demanded creative solutions and meticulous planning to guarantee seamless operation.

An immersive experience

With dimmed lighting and a custom atmospheric soundtrack, users are fully immersed into the ‘Legends of the Sky’ as they enter the castle tower and walk up to the holographic display. It’s then left to the player to take flight of their dragon.

Taking flight

Our hard work and dedication paid off when “Legends of the Sky” was unveiled and featured on BBC News.  The enthusiastic reception from school children during an exclusive session warmed our hearts.

Our collaboration with Cadw exemplifies Rant’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation in the digital realm, reinforcing our reputation for creating unforgettable digital experiences.

“The app launched and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Becoming a true partner, Rantmedia led the project from the early stages through the launch, while their ability to successfully handle challenges and work under a tight deadline contributed to the positive experience.”
Jamie Robbins
Senior Communications Manager, Welsh Government