Denver, Colorado, has a rich history of infrastructure and cultural development. What started as a small gold-rush town now boasts the 10th largest downtown area in America. But even with its status as a major metropolis, the Mile High City has always tried to maintain a healthy balance of population, urban beauty and ecological impact. So, when the Denver Theatre District created plans to add a world-class projection mapping display on one of its iconic buildings, Digital Projection and Display Devices teamed up to deliver a visual experience unlike anything the city had seen before.
In the heart of downtown Denver is a 16-block area known as the Theatre District. This lively, pedestrian-minded locale is a focal point for the city, enlivened through interactive, immersive and experimental art and events. As a rule, whenever a company seeks to add an advertisement, they must also provide an investment toward improving the visual experience of the district. When Orange Barrel Media started plans to utilize the Daniels and Fisher Tower for one of their projects, they sought out a team to design a solution that would not only be visually stunning but also non-damaging to the 100+-year-old building. After thoughtful research and consideration, Orange Barrel Media selected the large-scale display experts at Digital Projection (DP) and Display Devices (DDI) to tackle the project.
Here’s an example of what they did in 2019:
“Anytime you get to work on an architecturally and historically significant building, it feels amazing and with projection mapping, you’re actually doing a little bit of magic — creating ever-evolving art out of beautiful but static structures,” said David Schmitt, director of sales and business development at Display Devices. “Digital Projection makes some incredible projectors, and Display Devices is great at making permanent display installations — there is a very natural synergy between our two companies. That natural crossover allows for intuitive, high-caliber cooperation which results in showpiece displays like this one.”
The unified team of DDI and DP began designing a display solution after selecting a parking garage across the plaza for their technical base of operations. The end result was an environmentally controlled walk-in structure housing ten of DP’s M-Vision 21000 WU projectors. The projectors are engineered to withstand Denver weather and allow the city team to work inside for hands-on adjustments and calibrations, as well as program, schedule and display content remotely from a home office.
With nightly shows from Tuesday through Sunday evenings, Night Lights Denver has become one of Denver’s more meaningful attractions. “When we put together a program, our goal is not only to entertain the people of Denver but also for them to take pride in their city by coming and hanging out downtown,” said David Moke, director of programming in the Denver Theatre District. “We like to include art that is heavier and cerebral but also balanced with fun and entertainment. This is not a billboard, this is cultural enrichment through art and entertainment. I always say that we’re not public art – we’re art in the public.”
Powered by up to 210,000 lumens of color-rich content, the Daniels and Fisher tower is transformed by light-based art. Now known as Night Lights Denver, the mesmerizing display is an ongoing visual experience that showcases innovative works from both local and international artists. This permanent event features fresh content each month with rotating art collections, including professional photography, animation, live-action video and civic messaging.
“We knew working with the talented team at Display Devices would create something powerful, but we didn’t expect just how impressive it would ultimately be,” said Mike Akridge, vice president of operations at Digital Projection. “During our pre-activation testing, as soon as the first images were projected onto the tower, people immediately started gathering on their own – smiling, laughing, taking selfies and videos, etc. You don’t often get a chance to work on something of this size, at a location this iconic, so we were happy to see that the people were just as excited as we were.”