Christie Digital Systems Canada sought to create an iconic display where technology, architecture and artistic design all intersected in the West Wing lobby of its Kitchener, Ontario, Canada office. Featuring sophisticated architectural integration and a unique technology solution to drive a 70-megapixel display, the project resulted in a stunning creative canvas for the company’s Artist-In-Residence Program and other content development partners.
Commissioned by Christie President and COO Gerry Remers in November 2011, and completed in September 2012, the project intended to create a display that was architecturally provocative and technologically innovative. Additionally, Christie hoped to provide a state-of-the-art canvas for artists and content creators.
The motivation for the project was to inspire Christie customers with the “art of the possible,” and to illustrate the company’s commitment to its partners and employees who walk through the lobby daily. Achieving this goal took quality partners, and Christie worked with Arsenal Media, SRM Architects and RP Visual Solutions, as well as engineers, constructors and specialty metalwork companies.
The outcome is a lobby wall that consists of 115 Christie MicroTiles, which enabled the abstract canvas to take shape, as well as a unique Christie media management solution to drive content on the 70-megapixel wall. The wall will serve as a canvas for partnering content creators as well as artists working in the CAFKA-Christie Artist-in-Residence Program.
The first challenge Christie and its partners faced involved taking the conceptual design and applying it to an architectural/engineering design that could be constructed in a simple way. How to achieve the desired architectural design aesthetic of clean lines and finishes while satisfying the necessary provisions for building code safety requirements, structural, electrical, HVAC and AV cabling were all factors that had to be addressed. Of course, front and center with these considerations were the construction sequencing needs for various trades.
The second challenge was figuring out how to drive a 70-megapixel display and create content for it, given the goal of making it accessible for partnering artists to utilize the unique display canvas. The 70 megapixels occur over five displays that are separate yet are capable of driving interlocked content to appear as if they are one canvas. Streaming this many pixels simultaneously required some excellent video cards.
Finally, Christie and its partners faced the challenge of deciding how to provide a media management solution that is intuitive and congruent to the needs of the artists and content creators.
Teamwork and cross collaboration were essential to solving all challenges. Project design meetings involving the AEC and AV professionals, and examining the project as a mutual design problem while working to find mutual solutions, are what really made it successful.
The final solution included RP Visual Solutions designing and building a custom metal ladder section that now serves as mounting for the Christie MicroTiles and the drywall. The installation involved four phases: rough-in, drywall, AV installation and, last, metal work. The solution worked for design, construction and final installation.
The media management solution involves the use of a Christie Spyder image processor to manage the sheer amount of pixels and video possibilities, while a customized version of Christie JumpStart software acts as a media player and manager facilitating greater ease of operation.
Since opening in September, a consistent comment from Christie’s customers, partners and employees has been “Wow.” Relative to the company’s goals of demonstrating “the art of the possible” with a highly integrated architectural design, deploying an innovative media management engine that works for content creators, as well as inspiring its customers, partners and employees, Christie is very pleased with the results.
In addition, the artists working in Christie’s community are excited about having this canvas available for them to create digital art. The company’s integration customers have been very interested in the techniques used to achieve the architectural integration and the media management solution.
On a weekly basis, Christie employees interact with the technology, which has heightened their knowledge of the entire ecosystem involved in making leading-edge displays – from the technical challenges to the creative solutions. An unanticipated benefit is that the display also serves as an ongoing learning vehicle.
This case study was reprinted with permission from the Digital Signage Connection and originally appeared here.