UT Austin Adds 66-Foot Wide Ambient LED Wall To New Campus Sports And Entertainment Venue
August 30, 2022 by Dave Haynes
Here’s a very different, very clever take on a big LED video wall in a busy public facility: a 66-foot-wide display that neuters the pixel pitch in favor of something durable and focused on ambient visuals.
It’s at the Moody Center, a 15,000 seat entertainment venue on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin – some to concerts, Longhorns basketball games and family events. The venue was designed by the architecture firm Gensler, and one of the key elements is a digital art piece on a concourse.
Design Communications Ltd. (DCL) custom made the display in a collaborative build with Gensler’s DXD team in Austin. DCL engineered and prototyped large sections of the display wall “to resolve a layered assembly of light baffles, diffusive acrylic, and CNC-cut veneer panels to achieve the design team’s desired aesthetic,” says a brief from SNA Displays, which manufactured the 10mm pitch LED display behind the veneer facade. SNA Displays also customized louver panels so the installation’s perforated cover could be mounted in front of the LED face with a tight fit. The substrate can be removed to allow servicing of the LED cabinets.
The resulting LED video wall is part of an interactive design that incorporates audio and motion response.
The operation side of me likes this because the veneer front means the fragile LEDs are protected from hands and bags and objects of people walking past during events. I think it works as an experiential piece, and the set-up is such that it can’t be cut over to be used for brand advertising because of the “resolution” created by those precision cut-out holes in the veneer.