The new global headquarters of St. Louis based World Wide Technology needed a suite of AV solutions, and the company chose Coltrane Systems to integrate the new technology. The installation featured 71 conference rooms, 57 embedded digital signage displays, 50 panel Planar Mosaic.
The Tech Decision
One of the critical requirements of the RFP was creativity. With each element of the technology system, Coltrane designed creative technology solutions that needed to be different and unique.
The largest area of the project was a 280 seat subterranean auditorium. World Wide Technology had an existing auditorium at their former headquarters. Coltrane requested several meetings to discuss the functionality and design of the current space, and covered likes, dislikes, and challenges to understand what exactly WWT was looking for in the new auditorium.
Once Coltrane understood how WWT wanted the room to function, it worked with the architect to gather perspective views of the space from BIM model. Coltrane used those views to stitch together a concept video of the ideas it wanted to showcase. This showcase gave the customer a visual representation of the ideas and helped to transport WWT into its new headquarters, before there was even glass on the building.
After the initial design was approved, Coltrane collaborated with WWT’s internal IT, unified communications, and facilities teams to identify the crossover points for all of the technology, discussed critical paths, and challenges that would lay ahead during the installation.
As soon as Coltrane was awarded the project, it was immediately inserted into weekly construction meetings. Along with the audiovisual systems, the award included data cabling, surveillance, and access control systems installation. Coltrane coordinated with the general contractor, architect, electrician, mechanical, and interior design contractors for each of the different spaces. The construction schedule dictated an accelerated timeline of 8 months from cabling to commissioning.
The focus in the auditorium was on two major areas – the screen wall and the side walls. The stage was extremely wide, and offered a large backdrop. This allowed the necessary space to do a floor to ceiling canvas, ultimately landing on direct view LED as the display of choice. The side walls offered a unique element, as they were staggered in at each seating row. With the auditorium being subterranean, Coltrane used portrait mounted LCD displays to give the look of windows to the outside.
During its work with the architect, Coltrane noticed WWT had specified a large stainless steel, backlit WWT logo on a very large wall in the entry lobby of the headquarters. This space was an area where Coltrane could get extremely creative, and it proposed a Planar Mosaic installation. Coltrane worked with the architect and interior designer as well as a content developer to coordinate the final layout of the Mosaic panels, which helped preserve the design intent of the building, while giving WWT a digital canvas with over 50 LCD displays.
The two most critical items that required a high level of coordination and collaboration were the Planar Mosaic and Planar TWA LED wall. The Planar Mosaic panels were not installed on a flat wall. Rather, they were installed on a multi-dimensional wall surface that was a critical design element of the interior and exterior of the building. This meant a very large amount of conduit was required for cabling inside the wall to very specific locations that would allow the design of the Mosaic to be successfully installed.
Coltrane provided detailed layouts with exact dimensions for box locations to the electrician, who ended up installing over 500-feet of both flexible and rigid conduit inside the wall structure. The Planar TWA LED required a redesign of the mechanical and electrical systems in the auditorium based simply on the fact that the initial design of the video wall was specified as projection. Coltrane coordinated with Planar to validate the heat load and power draw of the LED, and provided the specifications and direction to the mechanical and electrical contractors.
World Wide Technology was extremely impressed with the audiovisual installation in the auditorium. It was suggested by the Director of Facilities, Justin Reise, that a clip from the Metallica movie Through The Never be played for the demo of the auditorium to the executives.
The CEO and CFO were very complimentary with the features of the space as well as how amazing the audio and video performed. The Director of Marketing, Chad Bockert, and his team took an accessional role in creating custom content for the extremely large direct view LED. Chad’s team also worked with vendor partners to build custom video content for the Planar Mosaic. The flexibility of the Mosaic installation was apparent when showing a live streamed event in the middle of the wall.