The Americana at Brand

March 2, 2009

The Americana at Brand, Caruso Affiliated’s mixed-use development, is a center of shopping, dining and entertainment with creative residential living in a beautiful, park-like setting. Located in Glendale, California, the development features a grand, two-acre park complimented by fountains, public art, and a generous amount of open space.

 

The Challenge

The Americana at Brand, Caruso Affiliated’s mixed-use development, is a center of shopping, dining and entertainment with creative residential living in a beautiful, park-like setting. Located in Glendale, California, the development features a grand, two-acre park complimented by fountains, public art, and a generous amount of open space.

Development leaders for The Americana at Brand wanted a landmark that would add an aesthetic ingredient to the development. Initially architectural designers planned to use a basic lighting system to illuminate the steal-beamed spire they planned to erect atop the elevator tower. But Aaron Haas, Director of Project Development for Caruso Affiliated, desired something more majestic. He envisioned this landmark transforming from a rustic, motionless steel structure by day, into a stunning visual array of color changes by twilight. Additionally, he wanted to coordinate the landmark with an extravagant water fountain placed in The Americana at Brand central courtyard.

Haas looked for a dynamic lighting system with a high pixel density that could be fully animated with as many colors as possible. At the 2007 InfoComm trade show, he found his solution at the Daktronics booth: ProPixel® freeform video elements.

The Daktronics Solution

ProPixel® freeform video elements come in two forms: pucks and sticks. ProPixel® stick elements are the ideal choice when long, thin lines of pixels are desired on even planes; puck elements are ideal for freeform outlines and shapes. After consulting with Daktronics about the best technology for their application, the Caruso development team opted to use ProPixel® stick elements to make the spire stand out at night as the sticks paired up nicely with the spire structure.

Daktronics engineers then worked with the Caruso design team and Boston-based Elkus/Manfredi Architects to plan the technology integration into the spire construction. The architects wanted the spire to appear as a rustic steel structure by day with no LEDs visible. To blend the ProPixel® sticks with the rusted metal, Daktronics applied its Echo™ color matching system to the sticks, making each stick have the same rustic appearance as the steel. Echo™ color matching creates an effect which makes the LED elements disappear into the background by day.

The engineers also blueprinted the signal and power routing of the sticks based on the spire design. Using Daktronics’ Atlas pixel mapping technology, engineers connected each pixel to its own individual address, so each one is uniquely programmable on The Americana at Brand spire. Atlas pixel mapping gives content control over uneven and 3-D surfaces.

At installation time, Excel Fabrication erected the tall, steel-beamed spire on top of the main elevator tower overlooking The Americana at Brand’s central courtyard. They constructed the tall, steel-beamed structure off-site and assembled it on the elevator rooftop. Once assembled, it was lifted onto the platform on the rooftop overlooking the courtyard.

At that point, Daktronics project management team oversaw the technology integration aspect. Daktronics onsite technicians bolted the ProPixel® sticks to the structure, and daisy-chained signal and power cables, which have space to hide behind the sticks, and connected them to their sources.

For the initial use of the spire, Caruso Affiliated asked Daktronics creative content services to produce animations that leveraged the technology’s full potential while highlighting the beauty of The Americana at Brand spire. The result generated a show-stopping light performance that made eyes turn and gaze at the artful presentation. Furthermore, color changes and animations synchronized with the lavish water fountain located below the display in The Americana at Brand central park.

ProPixel® technology establishes The Americana at Brand’s spire as a landmark. This application demonstrates the product’s extreme versatility to wrap structures of any shape or size.

What They’re Saying

“People are awestruck by how beautiful and elegant the spire looks,” said Aaron Haas, Director of Project Management for Caruso Affiliated. “We needed something that would highlight the steel structure of our tower and the Daktronics product fit extremely well. The engineering and management team at Daktronics was phenomenal with how they persevered throughout the process and should be commended for their hard work,” said Haas.

Equipment Description

•          ProPixel® Freeform Video Elements

•          Full-Color Display

970 RGB LED Stick Elements

Center to Center Pixel Spacing: 62 mm (2.44“)

Approx. Dimensions: Custom Configuration

Controller: Venus® 7000

PXS-62

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