Geometric Displays Bring Power, Impact

Sept. 5, 2006

LED video displays captivate audience attention for branding, advertising, and entertaining. They add to environment aesthetics while boasting ultramodern technology.

Unlike LCDs, plasmas, and other traditional “flat” display media, LED displays offer the capability to be built to any size and aspect ratio a customer desires and oftentimes can be used as a 3-D element.

Custom-built geometric designs with a 3-D appeal have their own challenges. Manufacturers must build displays with perfectly square corners, with little to no seams apparent between modules, and must consider proper content control for unique configurations.

Daktronics, the world’s leading manufacturer of LED video displays, has extensive experience manufacturing custom displays, including several complex, geometric designs. Included on the elite list of one-of-a-kind spectaculars are 745 Seventh Ave., Blue Man Group, and the HOK Sport Venue Event.

745 Seventh Ave., New York
Architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) consulted with Daktronics when designing the colossal LED video elements incorporated into the building at 745 Seventh Ave., New York. The distinctive 7-foot-high by 133-foot-long LED bands wrap three sides of the building, accentuated by a 40-foot-high video monolith positioned at the building’s west entrance. In addition, 7-foot-tall clock and date LED digits shine through the one-way glass world map.

Daktronics helped KPF select the right pixel pitch and display size, optimizing display viewing for passersby. To accentuate the building’s sign-wrap motif, Daktronics minimized the 90-degree corner seams by fabricating custom display cabinets to make the display look like one continuous unit.

Because KPF inset the display into the structure, the edifice restricted intake and exhaust air for internal component cooling. To overcome the restrictions, Daktronics engineered custom ventilation for the displays.

Daktronics fabricated the clock and date digits to intake and exhaust air from the gaps between the glass and the building fascia. To prevent the fresh and exhaust air from mixing together,

Daktronics built a divider inside the clock and date digits.

Daktronics designed another custom solution to ventilate the west entry display. The display pulls fresh air through the cabinet and then exhausts air behind the display while maintaining low ambient noise levels.

The combination of advanced engineering, state-of-the-art technology, and forward-thinking design makes the 745 Seventh Ave., building a showpiece for combining aesthetic form with practical function.

Blue Man Group
When Blue Man Group opened their show at the Venetian in Las Vegas, they asked Daktronics to build custom tracer-pipe video displays to be included in their set, designed by Carly Glaab and Marc Brinkman. Collectively known as the Matrix, the exciting displays twist and turn at right angles in patterns reminiscent of printed circuit card traces.

To manufacture the convoluted design, Daktronics created a custom cabinet of folded metal to handle the module layout and to reduce weight. Due to space limitations within the cabinet itself, engineers positioned internal electronics at 45-degree angles.

Workers at Daktronics’ manufacturing plant built each length of the display as a single run and bolted the runs together when they converged at a corner. Once attached, the workers shimmed the sections, making certain that the modules lined up on an even plane to give the displays a uniform look.

To add external rigidity to the displays and make them stand up, Daktronics affixed black steel tubing to the rear of each display. Feet connected to the steel tubing hold the displays securely to the stage levels with bolts.

To control the unique design, Daktronics implemented its revolutionary Pixel Mapping technology, which allows each individual display pixel to receive its own distinct information. When on stage, the 277-foot, freestanding ribbons of light flowing on the set complement Blue Man Group’s total sensory experience for audiences.

HOK Sport Venue Event
World-renowned architecture firm HOK planned its new office building in Kansas City, MO, as a living portfolio piece, attesting to the firm’s leading design innovations to visiting clientele. To help convey the firm’s expertise, HOK turned to Daktronics to manufacture a novel, 3-D, intersecting LED display as a visual anchor for the front of the building.

Located outside the firm’s lunchroom by the observation deck, Daktronics constructed two u-shaped vertical segments to enfold the descending concrete column. A horizontal LED band mounts to a concrete beam and intersects the vertical LED column.

As an integral architectural component of the building’s façade, the display needed a continuous look. Daktronics engineered the corners on the wrapped column and the joints from the traversing horizontal band to show minimal seams, building custom cabinets and modifying display modules to fit inside the cabinets.

In addition, the display needed to affix closely against the concrete structure, obstructing normal airflow to the cabinet from the display rear. To solve this issue, Daktronics mounted the displays on clip angles to create a 4-inch gap between the display and the concrete. Daktronics affixed fans between the cabinet and the concrete vertically on the right and left sides of the display. One set of fans draws fresh air in and another set of fans draws exhaust air out.

The resulting dynamic display entwined with the building exterior promotes HOK’s reputation as a pacesetter within its industry.

As these projects demonstrate, geometric displays bring power and impact to creative spaces. Daktronics offers the technical expertise and experience to combine form and technology into a dynamic presentation.

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