In early 2020, Genesis AV approached us with an unusual project concept, in the underground tunnels of Jersey. In 2022, we finally had a chance to visit the completed installation- and it was certainly worth the wait!
Genesis AV were established in 1989 and pride themselves on delivering solutions that ‘go beyond the ordinary’ Located in historic St Helier, Jersey, Genesis AV were the clear choice to consult on the refurbishment of the local heritage site, the Jersey War Tunnels.
During the German occupation of Jersey in the Second World War, over 1,000 metres of tunnels were dug deep into the hillside by over 5,000 forced and slave workers, designed to withstand the Allied air raids and bombardment in the event of an invasion. In 1943, the tunnels were converted into an emergency hospital, and they are now preserved as a museum, documenting the unique Jersey civilian experience of occupation. Attracting over 90,000 visitors annually, with record-breaking attendance this year, the Jersey War Tunnels received the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award in 2021 and 2022.
Genesis AV were contracted to install new Wi-Fi and surveillance systems. LILIN received the original site plan during lockdown, and we worked together to design the initial security specification and layout. Once restrictions were lifted and Genesis AV were able to visit the site and gain a better understanding of the layout and the environment within the tunnels we were able to adjust the specifications to better suit the requirements.
The Tunnels presented a unique opportunity, and the site presented new difficulties in specifying and wiring as Genesis had to create an installation that was respectful of the Tunnel’s history and didn’t distract from the exhibits or environment. Genesis AV took the time needed planning the cable routes and conduit runs to ensure that there was no interference with the existing, historic infrastructure.
During the initial design process, it was decided to colour code the cameras where possible to better match the environment they were mounted in, so as not to be a distraction. Deep in the pits, black cameras were used to blend into the shadows and not be noticeable as the exhibit provides an immersive experience. This was a deciding factor in choosing to use cameras from the Z series range, which come in both black and white chassis as standard and feature a remotely adjustable lens for easy installation. Turret cameras, with their smaller, low-maintenance shape were the final selection.
The system was intended to protect both the exhibits and artefacts and to maintain visitor safety. Cameras were first installed at key junctions to monitor the traffic flow, pinch points and congestion points. From a health and safety perspective, there are many potential areas of concern- the tunnel floors are uneven, and as the walls are often damp- the tunnels are up to 50M underground- they cannot always be used for a person to stabilise themselves if they are unsteady on their feet.
Another key concern was ensuring that nobody gets stuck in the tunnels overnight- with no phone signal underground, and no public Wi-Fi, a lost visitor could be in for a long cold night! To combat this, Genesis AV installed telephone help points at strategic intervals, with the surveillance system providing a comprehensive overview of the site.
In total, 20 cameras have been installed so far, recording on two 32-channel NVRS and used with managed switches for easy remote maintenance. The system is monitored at several locations on site, including the front ticket desk and the management office. Senior management also have remote access via the LILINHome mobile app.
To distribute the camera feeds across these different locations Genesis AV used our free Client software, which is installed on PCs in each location. The client is particularly pleased with how easy it is to create customised views by dragging and dropping the camera feeds on their screens.
In total, the installation took approximately 2 months to complete. Most of this time was spent establishing the infrastructure, and Genesis AV were pleased to note that the LILIN equipment was then easy to install and commission.
The team at the Jersey War Tunnels are thrilled with the system and are already talking about potential expansion opportunities for the system and using more automation.