Step into the lobby of the Monster.com offices in Weston, MA and you will be signed in, given a guest keycard to enter the building and sent to an atrium enclosed in glass. You will be entertained by a five screen LED video wall system that displays information about the company. The most impressive part of this system? It was built in five weeks.
When Monster.com relocated to their new headquarters, one of the most prominent building features was the large atrium space with a 30-foot ceiling off the reception lobby. To promote what Monster does for their clients they wanted to build a large scale dynamic video display for this space. They came up with a concept design that included a banner running around the wall that led to a central large monitor with an ‘x’ design leading to four monitors at each end. They asked WSP, one of the world’s leading professional services firms, to aid them in the build. The challenge was to finish within five weeks in order to present the system to Monster’s Board of Directors.
The first thing WSP did was suggest LED displays for the five monitors. It would allow for a simpler delivery of content, as the banners would need to be LED as well.
“The overall look of their concept would be much better if it were all one technology instead of a mix of technologies,” says Ray duTremblay, Vice President of Building Technology Systems for WSP. “With a mix of LCDs and LEDs there would be different resolutions. It would be pretty hard to deliver content to two different types of displays [in the timeframe].”
WSP put in place all cabling, computers, and content management systems before displays even arrived.
WSP brought Monster to VideoSonic in NYC to showcase some LED displays. VideoSonic assured that they could get the displays shipped from China by the time of installation, a task that many in the industry would call a miracle. Monster actually sent a senior executive to the factory in China to ensure that the displays would be delivered on time.
WSP began the build and installation while the display screens were on the way. There was a lot of engineering and structural design needed to support the system. Unfortunately, Monster doesn’t own the facility and could do nothing to permanently alter the stone wall in the atrium. One of Monster’s facility engineers came up with the idea to use the ground between the stones to mount the brackets. WSP verified with structural engineers and Monster’s architect to make sure the infrastructure worked.
“The stone wall that the screens are installed on could not be drilled into, and any permanent, irreversible modification could not be done,” says Glenn Polly, President and CEO of VideoSonic. “The steel worker hired to install the frames to hold the LED panels used the grout lines between the stone slabs to secure the support steel. An interior wall on the opposite side of the stone wall was opened up so the stone wall could be penetrated at the grout lines and stabilized from behind. Then the sheetrock wall was repaired to hide the steel work.” WSP then developed a housing around the displays to hide the cabling which was routed through the steel channels in the grout.
As for the video wall content, Richard Lewis Media Group was chosen to create custom content for Monster’s purposes. Between customer visits, digital signage media players by Spinetix follow a playlist running the content on a loop. When customers visit, custom content can be launched on demand using an Ipad as a control panel. Monster has the ability to start and stop content clips as necessary.
“The content players, the computers, all of that was done behind the scenes while we waited for the delivery,” says Corey Nowak, WSP project manager for the system. “It was pretty much plug-and-play once it got there.” Monster staff members are currently being trained to create their own custom content.
The project was finished on time and the Board of Directors was very impressed. Today, Monster utilizes the system to showcase user success stories, track social media, exhibit company goals and values, and greet and present to guests visiting the building. The system stands as a testament to what can be done, and how quickly it can be done, when distributors, integrators, and end users work as a team on a project.