Welcome to the Next Level Retail Experience
South Eveleigh, Sydney’s new vibrant retail & dining destination, offers a unique immersive experience for all patrons travelling from the carpark, passing through a 20-meter-long digital tunnel.
The independent supermarket, Romeo’s Food Hall IGA, opened in a space that was previously a historic railway shed, in a revitalised area near the central business district. Parking is available for customers in The Foundry Building, which is connected to the Locomotive Workshops via a unique subterranean travelator. With an immersive Vivid-style experience delivered via specialised LED Screens, the Foundry Tunnel celebrates more than 100 years of innovation and manufacturing history of greater Eveleigh, through creative digital content. It tells the story of the historic area from its early stages through to its time as a thriving hub in Australia’s railway network.
The delicate project of The Foundry Tunnel was a close collaboration between Buchan Group, Pro AV Solutions, Mirvac and Curio Projects. The concept originally started off with multiple LCD panels on each side and LED mesh roof.
“Pro AV Solutions were involved in this project from the early design stages,” says Marc Silver, Solution Architect and Pre-sales Engineer at Pro AV Solutions. Their team worked closely together with Buchan Group, who had the vision of turning this project into a unique digital art installation, which would raise this retail experience to a whole new level. “We conducted proof of concept, showing the pixel blending within the tunnel environment, designed and outlined the final specification for the LED wall radius and the digital platform dimensions, to make sure it all fit perfectly within the environment,” comments Marc.
“From the early design concepts, we knew that this project would require a fully customised LED solution,” comments Russell Muddle, National Project Manager at ULA Group. “We have delivered several bespoke digital projects with Pro AV Solutions over the years, so I was confident we had the right technology and a very experienced team to work on this custom project.”
“We faced a multitude of challenges throughout this project from the very beginning”, comments Marc Silver. “Being a fully bespoke delivery, all fittings and fixtures were custom designed. Although we are experienced with this type of installation, the bespoke nature always introduces an extra challenge for our engineering and installation team to get the best result.”
The main installation challenges included the structure and environment of the heritage listed building. LED Modules were attached in the overhead space to perfectly contour the curvature of the tunnel, allowing appropriate spaces for building requirements such as emergency lights and fire alarms. All these elements needed to be taken into consideration and incorporated in an unobtrusive way, so patrons could focus on the ‘show’.
“The blended pixel pitch curved LED tunnel was a huge undertaking, both structurally and technically. With a 12-degree slope of the tunnel factored in with the curve, the precision was key here, as the smallest imperfection would translate through the entire installation”, explains Marc.
The custom designed solution features VuePix Infiled Semi-flex panels, a combination of 1.9mm and 4mm pixel pitch. The highly flexible, ultra-thin lightweight LED modules were fitted to custom-built frames.
“There was also the challenge of creating captivating content for the digital platform, that is where the expertise of the Buchan team really shone through!”, says Marc Silver.
The end result – A captivating customer experience that really pushes the boundaries of the retail environment as we know it. Direct view LED screens in retail spaces are generally the mainstream these days. Passing through a digital tunnel on a travelator, being drawn into the story of a heritage listed building, surrounded by a full AV production, is something quite unique.
“This project was a great collaboration amongst the leading experts in our industry,” comments Lenka Šatánková, Marketing Manager at ULA Group. “The creative vision of Buchan Group, combined with the technical guidance of Pro AV Solutions, resulted in producing a unique world-class visual project, telling the story of this historic precinct through an interactive digital platform and creating a unique captivating experience for everyone visiting the place.”
“It was very exciting and rewarding to watch how visitors travelling up the escalators of the precinct reacted to this new experience,” comments Lenka. “Everyone was drawn into the presentation, people were putting their headphones down and listening to the story, some of them went a full round and travelled up again, just to take it all in. This project really is a great example of art & innovation coupled with the latest tech to create a captivating presentation and experience for the community.”