Hy-Vee, Inc., one of the largest employee-owned companies in the United States, brought the idea of “something old, something new” to its brand new West Des Moines conference and event center by installing cutting-edge NanoLumens curved Nixel Series LED displays in the lobby to show highlights from the company’s rich 87-year history.
The Tech Decision
When building the new Ron Pearson Center, named for former Hy-Vee CEO Ron Pearson, the company wanted to pay homage to its long, successful history in a way that would engage and hold the attention of every visitor to the center.
Company officials decided to turn the building’s lobby into an 11,000-square-foot history pavilion, naming it after another former CEO, Dwight Vredenburg, and they hired Dimensional Innovations, a Kansas-based architecture and design firm, to design and fabricate the space.
Dimensional Innovations and Hy-Vee have a successful history together. They worked together on Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs, a few years earlier to create a branded fan activation system. During that project, Hy-Vee was incredibly impressed by Dimensional Innovations’ ability to manage the creation of a space from ideation to install, and they knew that they were the right people to solve their problem of needing to showcase Hy-Vee’s rich and long history in a relatively small footprint that didn’t compromise on a dynamic and engaging aesthetic.
Both DI and the Hy-Vee team agreed that the space needed some really cool technology to draw people in, and with six columns in the room featuring display cases with historical items, the NanoLumens curved Nixel Series LED displays presented an awesome opportunity to surprise guests with 360-degree displays unlike anything else they’ve seen.
Dimensional Innovations wanted to use every available space to capture visitors’ attention, including the room’s six columns. They decided to install display cases filled with historical items in each column, but felt as if they could still do more to take the space to the next level by incorporating really cool technology to draw people in.
They found their solution through the NanoLumens Nixel Series displays. NanoLumens displays were the only choice for the project, as they are the only manufacturer producing displays that can accommodate the tight curve of a 4-foot diameter column. In fact, the columns were designed specifically to ensure the displays would fit perfectly. While Dimensional Innovations had originally planned to only outfit four of the columns with displays, once Hy-Vee saw a mockup they immediately decided to put them on all six columns.
A major challenge for Dimensional Innovations’ creative team was installing a seamless cylindrical loop to display video in the room’s columns, as they had never done that before. They experimented with several modes of displaying both video and other animated content before landing on their final design solution. The full installation took four weeks to complete.
The NanoLumens curved Nixel Series displays were installed on all six columns in the space, and are currently showing a two-hour loop of commercials and videos from the company’s past, with each column staggering the timing so visitors get to see different videos as they peruse the room. This way, guests can see more of the full two-hour video than if it were timed the same on every display. The displays themselves feature a 5mm pixel pitch design, are two feet tall and are positioned eight feet off the ground.
Hy-Vee’s completed Dwight Vredenburg History Pavilion is a show-stopping display of artifacts, advertisements and photographs from Hy-Vee’s nearly nine-decade history. Using Hy-Vee’s bright color palette and some creative design ideas with the help of NanoLumens displays, Dimensional Innovations designed a space that encourages guests to walk around and learn about the company in an exciting, novel way.
As visitors tour the lobby, they are taken on a decade-by-decade journey through the company’s history. Each decade has its own section of wall complete with an LCD screen to display images of people and events during that period, and glass display cases featuring artifacts, books and photos. Combined with color-changing LED backlighting for each display case and column, the curved Nixel Series displays help to give the whole room a futuristic appeal. To make things even easier, the Dimensional Innovations team also custom built a proprietary content management system so the on-site staff can update all the displays at once, saving time and energy when changes are needed.
Right from the moment the The Hy-Vee team saw the mock-up of the wrap, they knew it needed to be on every column. They love the finished solution, and are very excited to be able to share the company’s rich and storied history with public and company audiences. The columns provide a perfect and interactive way to engage all who visit the headquarters, and helped Hy-Vee meet their goal of utilizing every single inch of the room’s available space.