Scalable scene background

Hi All,

I have a scene like which consists of a single object (A reflective statue) kept in the center of a nice looking background.

I have been using the venice_sunset rectangular hdr map for my scene background.
It works well both as an environment map and a background. One thing is that I see that the background does not scale along with the mesh that is rendered in the scene. This gives a feeling that the scene is completely fake. i.e The status scales up/down but the background does not. At the moment, I have disabled zoom in/out so that the user does not feel intimidated by this.

My questions are:

  1. Do I need to use some shader magic here to scale up or down the scene background when the orbit controls zoom in/out so that it seems like all the objects in the scene are scaling uniformly? Or is this not possible to do at all?

  2. Is there a way to apply this hdr map/360 pano image to a spherical geometry/mesh of some sort so that the scaling happens uniformly on all objects?

I know this is a broad question, but any direction regarding the same will be very valuable.

Please let me know if you need any other information. I will be glad to provide the same.