ATLANTA, GEORGIA, October 7, 2019 — There is a wall in the lobby of the new Legacy Union complex in Charlotte, North Carolina that doesn’t seem like a wall at all. This “wall” is, in fact, a vibrant, animated, living mural designed to represent the best of Charlotte and unify the entire community. Called “Unify,” the 64-foot-wide by 36-foot-tall LED wall was conceived by interactive design studio Second Story, is driven by an Extron processor, and was built by NanoLumens. It is believed to be the largest native 4K LED display ever installed anywhere.
With only a pristine, open space separating the complex from the Bank of America stadium where the Carolina Panthers play, the building’s architects, designers, technology specialists, and ownership wanted to bring something new and exciting to this bustling city district.
“We designed this space to project outward from the most visible spot, shining through the floor-to-ceiling front windows, across the street and into the outdoor space between here and Bank of America Stadium,” said Hal Shute, Associate AIA at architecture firm LS3P, which designed the tower. “This is a world-class building, so we looked at cutting edge ideas and technologies that could bring the lobby and public space into the 21st century, while making a real impact on both the space’s design and its relevance to the community.”
By combining NanoLumens’ world-leading LED display technology and engineering with LS3P’s architectural excellence and creative Charlotte-themed visuals and videos from content firm Second Story, the lobby is now a living homage to the city of Charlotte. With a total square footage nearly 3.5 times that of a highway billboard, the display dominates the space while also merging its design into the architecture itself. Because it was designed to be a native 4K display with a resolution of 4096×2304, any modern content can be shown without reformatting or special processing required, including Carolina Panthers games. The display itself is driven by an Extron Quantum Ultra 610 videowall processor that supports the display’s native 4K resolution and configures smoothly into the design specifications thanks to its modular architecture.
“The display is mounted flush with eight feet of natural stone on each end, so the wall really is a TV,” Shute added. “It was carefully designed to be seamless, to blend into the environment and not appear stuck-on, a trap some other buildings fall into when the technology is a secondary consideration and not a core piece of the design process.”
To use a digital display as part of the space’s design, it had to meet certain criteria. First, the marble and concrete wall on which it would be affixed had already been solidified in the plans, so the ideal solution would be front-serviceable, and not require accessing the units from the rear. NanoLumens turned out to be one of the only display makers to use a front serviceable design.
Second, also due to infrastructure constraints, the display needed to be able to operate without adding any air conditioning or cooling equipment, and, again, NanoLumens turned out to be the right choice. It is one of only two manufacturers LS3P considered that designs its displays to cool by convection, so they don’t require forced air.
A display of this size and location also had to be perfect to make the impact the client desired, and Frank Milesky, Southeast Area Director for technology integration firm Cenero, explained there were even more reasons that NanoLumens was the final choice.
“In any lobby, you want to maximize the available space and limit intrusions into that space, and because NanoLumens displays do not require a third-party mounting system, the total depth ended up being much shallower than competitors,” Milesky said. “And for a digital wall that’s going to be showing local scenes, ball games, marketing content and other visuals 24 hours a day, we needed to trust the technology we chose to last for years to come. NanoLumens six-year warranty is the best available, and it ensures our client gets the value they want out of a presentation system that’s better than they ever imagined.”
Milesky also noted that these types of tech-enabled architecture-as-art projects are becoming more popular, where designers or owners work to blend artwork and infrastructure to create experiential moments and spaces.
According to Arch Nelson, NanoLumens Southeast Sales Director, an additional reason the building’s owners and architects wanted to implement such a big display was to allow split-screen capabilities that still present larger-than-life imagery.
“We believe this is the largest native 4K display ever installed anywhere,” Nelson asserted. “One of the goals of this installation was to enable one enormous screen to be broken up into 16 smaller, but still huge screens, each 16 feet long and 9 feet tall. With any number of sources including cable boxes, computers, streaming services and digital signage software, the lobby’s living wall can become anything they want or need it to be. By choosing a 4K resolution, which required a finer pixel pitch than most displays of this size at 4.7 mm, the client and signage operators can easily show any content at any time.”
In addition to the generative “Unify” content, Second Story developed a series of intriguing and engaging videos for the launch of the building in August, including aerial drone footage of dramatic Charlotte sights.
“It’s so refreshing to see more developers using canvases like this to inspire and enhance communities, built environments and public spaces,” said Joel Krieger, Second Story’s Executive Creative Director.
Founded in 1963, LS3P is an architecture, interiors, and planning firm with regional roots and national reach. Operating from its eight offices in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Savannah, LS3P is deeply committed to the communities in which it serves, and has been honored with over 540 design awards in diverse practice areas. For more information on LS3P, visit www.ls3p.com.
About Second Story
Founded in 1994, Second Story is a network of experiential design studios working across the cultural and brand landscapes to elevate the art of storytelling. With locations in Portland, Atalanta and New York, the company has received more than 500 awards for its work. For more information, please visit www.secondstory.com.
Founded in 1983, Extron enhances the experiences of millions of people around the world with audiovisual signal processing, distribution, and control products. Their advanced technologies create better looking images, higher quality sound, and systems that are both easier to control and work more reliably. Their powerful asset management tools are helping technology professionals efficiently manage large numbers of audiovisual systems deployed throughout their enterprises and institutions. Just as they are proficient at their core business of creating innovative solutions across all AV technologies, they also have unmatched experience and a deep understanding of the needs of customers in a wide range of vertical markets.
Cenero is a service-focused audio visual, unified communications and IT solutions provider. With extensive knowledge of the most advanced collaboration and audio visual technologies, the company’s goal is to deliver programs that improve communication and drive efficiency throughout an organization. Cenero provides systems design installation, managed services, cloud-based video solutions and event services for companies throughout North America. For more information, visit www.cenero.com.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, NanoLumens partners with clients to create uniquely compelling, interactive LED visualization solutions that take the guesswork out of owning a display network. As the fastest growing visualization company in the US, our experiential LED displays exceed the imaginations of global clients in retail, transportation, corporate, gaming, higher education, sports and arenas, and houses of worship. Through world-class proprietary technology, NanoLumens displays are ultra-thin and lightweight, energy efficient and available in any size, shape or curvature. NanoLumens solutions are proudly designed and assembled in the United States of America and come backed by an industry-leading six-year warranty. For more information, visit www.nanolumens.com.