Technomedia Uses Lightware for Largest Projection Mapping

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Historic Union Station in St. Louis has reopened after an extensive $66.3 million renovation to its lobby where Technomedia, a Mood Media Company, created the largest permanent 3D projection mapping attraction in the United States. The projection mapping was created on the space's 65-foot high barrel-vault ceiling and walls, transforming the space every evening for hotel and local guests and visitors. Technomedia chose Lightware DVI-OPT-TX110 and RX110 transmitters/receivers to extend the multi-4K 120 frame video signal to fourteen projectors displaying the dazzling custom content. Lightware USA is the U.S. distributor for Budapest-based Lightware Visual Engineering products.

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“It was logical for me to choose Lightware,” said Andrew Atienza, Technomedia projection specialist. “It’s a reliable and cost-effective solution that works well when you’re dealing with the concerns of a historic space. We have limited rack space in the machine room on the third floor balcony. The TX110s are the size of a DVI connector so no additional rack space and no additional wiring was needed for them.”

Union Station was the world’s largest and busiest train station when it opened in 1894. Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM) purchased the station in 2012 with the goal of restoring the property and driving business to the station’s new hotel, dining and shopping options while maintaining the Grand Hall’s historic character.

The Grand Hall has been refurbished with stylish lounge and bar seating and a stunning ultra high definition 3D projection mapping show, which plays every evening on the hour between 5 and 10 p.m. Since its debut on May 9, National Train Day, the Grand Hall Experience has increased attendance to the Grand Hall by over 125%, according to Lightware. 

Technomedia conceived and developed the Grand Hall Experience for LHM. The experience consists of a variety of shows that showcase creative design and innovative storytelling. The show take viewers on an amazing journey from the blue depths of the sea where a whale, sea turtles and sharks float weightlessly to the heights of world’s great ceilings where the magnificent artistry of Rome’s Sistine Chapel and Paris’s star-studded Sainte-Chapelle soar overhead. In other shows, the detailed filigree of the historic building come life with 3D detail that transforms into complete immersive visuals like psychedelic flowers bloom. Clockwork gears turn and lighted train cars race down a tunnel, the building itself moves and shifts uncovering the incredible surprised behind the walls. St. Louis-born celebrities John Goodman, Bob Costas, and John Hamm contribute to the narration.

Technomedia is no stranger to 3D projection mapped shows; the company used Lightware for video distribution for the Cuartel de Ballaja in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Atienza also selected Lightware matrices for “Iris” at LA’s Dolby Theater.

He notes that the equipment and content are running maintenance-free. “It’s been completely hands off,” he said. “It’s wonderful not having to worry about anything. The Lightware units required very little set up and have been rock solid reliable.”

Since the Grand Hall Experience is expected to be a permanent attraction at Union Station the aim is to create new content on a regular basis. “The Christmas show is already in development,” said Atienza. “We can also loop custom content seamlessly for special events held in the lobby.”

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