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Case Study: Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina

The Charlotte Douglas International Airport has just completed a $200 million renovation and expansion of its Concourse A. The nine-gate, 229,807-square-foot addition is the first completed project under the Destination CLT initiative, a $2.5 billion capital investment program to renovate the concourses and expand CLT’s roadways, curb front, airfield, and terminal.

The Concourse A expansion features LED displays from NanoLumens and renowned digital artist Refik Anadol’s unique “data sculptures” that turn the airport’s invisible patterns of data into captivating content featured on the three NanoLumens displays. This installation, dubbed “Interconnected,” is a part of a total commitment by the airport to reimagine modern travel through the eyes of compelling and immersive digital experiences.

Frank Milesky of integration firm Cenero, approached the installation as a fusion of technology, art, and design. “The goal here was to seamlessly integrate digital artwork that reflects the movement and traffic of the airport, essentially the airport’s data culture, into the architecture of the new concourse.” He describes it as one of the largest data sculpture visualizations in the world.

The centerpiece display for Interconnected is a 2.5mm NanoLumens ENGAGE Series LED display that sits inside the airport’s Concourse A and stretches 140 feet wide by 10 feet high. Mitchell added that the details surrounding exactly where this display was being placed also played a major role in the decision to go with NanoLumens.

“The largest display runs down a big part of the new Concourse A, which has windows lining the other side, so it can also be seen by people driving past as well as walking up to the airport from the outside,” he said. “The fact that NanoLumens displays provide such a high-definition image viewed up close, as well as the brightness to be seen outside by people in cars whizzing by, provided us with the greatest possible impact.”

Another challenge for Cenero was making sure a screen this large would display a seamless image without bezels and also handle all daytime ambient light coming in through the concourse’s many windows.

Cenero installed two additional 4.7mm NanoLumens Performance Series displays in oddly shaped corners in the gates located at the end of Concourse A that are also visible both inside and outside the airport. The trapezoid-shaped displays measure approximately 28×15 feet in one corner and 40×19 feet in the other corner.

Each of these displays also run 24 hours a day and is synchronized with the larger concourse display as each has its own distinct visual chapter.

The continuing trend of audiovisual technology turning the time spent at airports into a memorable part of the overall travel experience is on display in a new and exciting way at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

“This installation is grabbing travelers’ attention before they even enter the airport, as it is clearly visible from the parking garage and street across from the new concourse,” said NanoLumens Southeast regional sales director, Arch Nelson. “We have clearly moved beyond the days of what static signage can do .”

For the more than 44 million travelers who move through Charlotte Douglas International Airport annually, Refik’s Interconnected will surely leave a lasting impression.

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