Art Meets Transportation To Embrace Russian Culture At International Airport

Among the largest and busiest of Russia’s airports, Sheremetyevo Intl. Airport in Moscow serves tens of millions of passengers, and sees hundreds of thousands of tons of cargo passing through each year. To entertain and engage an influx of visitors, Sheremetyevo recently undertook an enormous modernization project. 

Once airport officials determined they wanted the project to be centered around LED video walls, they tapped LG Business Solutions to provide guidance for the project. The airport wanted a one-stop shop that could provide them with a wide range of digital signage products, as well as installation and ongoing troubleshooting services.

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Technical Overview

The scale of the project required hundreds of video screens to be installed in a mere six weeks. The centerpiece totem display came from the LG LAS series, featuring high-brightness at 1000 nits, wide viewing angles, and a 24/7 operating configuration. With 49-inch webOS signage configured on top of an 86-inch 4K UHD display, the wall was highly visible from a distance, which was one of the requirements.

The project also included the company’s 88-inch Ultra Stretch displays with a unique 32:9 display ratio in the baggage claim area. The flight information display system (FIDS) was made up of bezel-less LED units grouped together to maximize the amount of flight info displayed.

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The huge totem display in the airport exudes culture to all visitors by featuring a range of Russian artists.

The huge totem display in the airport exudes culture to all visitors by featuring a range of Russian artists. (Image credit: LG)

The Challenge

For the new Terminal B’s digital signage, Sheremetyevo wanted to move beyond pragmatic options and solutions that simply provided information. Instead, the digital signage solutions called for a bold approach that would grab passengers’ attention, and provide a taste of Russian culture, all while complementing—and not competing with—the terminal’s avant-garde architectural design. 

The Solution

LG Business Solutions made it their goal to deliver truly unique digital signage experiences, but beyond that, their support services were also critical for airport officials. The content partner, Sheremetyevo Advertising Company, was also essential to the success of the project.

“Sheremetyevo Airport wanted to build a brand-new terminal with an innovative digital signage concept in a relatively short period of time. We worked closely with the airport to comprehensively help them address their needs, from pre-sales support to installation and troubleshooting,” said Grigory Astafiev, key account manager, LG Electronics Russia.

LG only had one and a half months to install hundreds of digital signage products. They were up for the challenge, swiftly installing and troubleshooting each piece of digital signage in time to greet Terminal B’s first passengers. 

Towering Above the Masses

Officials had a vision for a piece of digital signage that could serve as the focal point within Terminal B, while doubling as a landmark not only for the airport, but for Moscow as well. The team recommended the installation of a massive four-sided direct-view LED signage totem display, strategically placed to be seen by everyone heading up to the airport’s departures hall. By far the largest single piece of digital signage in Terminal B, the LED signage totem rises two stories up from its base, and the escalator next to it allows passengers to take in its enormous scale up close.

Sleek form-factor, bezel-less displays maximize the area for flight information along the terminal B walkway.

Sleek form-factor, bezel-less displays maximize the area for flight information along the terminal B walkway. (Image credit: LG)

The LED signage totem works in conjunction with the terminal’s architecture to display intricate animated clock towers, Russian cultural showcases, and advertisements for travelers approaching in all directions.

A signage innovation like this was demanding to install and set up. A custom frame with an incorporated air-cooling system was the first step. Each individual LED unit had to bear extremely stringent manufacturing and installation tolerances to ensure that there would be no visible gaps between them, in order to form a seamless four-sided screen. The result presents passengers with ultra-bright high resolution visuals with true colors. 

“From the very beginning, Terminal B was designed to be the most technologically innovative transportation hub in Russia. We worked closely with LG to implement many interesting new ideas, including modern advertising technologies and cutting-edge media design,” said Andrey Grushko, deputy general manager, Sheremetyevo Advertising Company.

Blurring the Lines Between Digital Signage and Art 

Designed in the avant-garde style of early 20th Century Russian constructivists, the new Terminal B features bold architectural stylings with stark colors and sharp angles. The digital signage within the terminal’s halls had to provide similarly eye-catching results. 

The architectural structure provides passengers with a unique Russian cultural experience as they wait to depart. Building on the constructivist design philosophy, Terminal B features two digital art sculptures inspired by Proun drawings and the paintings of El Lissitzky, a Russian avant-garde artist. 

Shaping Every Moment From Arrival to Departure 

Sheremetyevo had LG FIDS installed in its other terminals with success. Since they wanted to make sure that passengers would be within sight of flight-centric digital signage every moment they are in Terminal B, they again selected LG FIDS. 

For those arriving, passengers are guided to the correct baggage carousel by unique, freestanding displays composed of 49-inch webOS signage mounted on top of 86-inch 4K UHD signage displays. Designed for maximum visibility, the UHD screens display colorful airport information and advertising videos at ultra-high resolution, while the webOS signage informs passengers where to pick up their luggage. 

LG’s 88-inch Ultra Stretch displays, playing Russian cultural vignettes, adorn the columns in Terminal B’s baggage claim area. Able to fit on the columns thanks to their 32:9 display ratio, these sleek Ultra Stretch displays give the terminal a modern visual enhancement. 

LG FIDS are strategically placed throughout Terminal B. Both LED and webOS FIDS are designed for durability and 24/7 operation to make sure that passengers don’t miss their flights. Especially striking is the 42-square meter FIDS that greets passengers in the departures hall. Made of multiple bezel-less LED units grouped together, this FIDS’ massive scale allows Sheremetyevo to display a large amount of flight information at once, minimizing the amount of time passengers must wait to see their flight’s status.

“This project is the biggest and most impressive installation of digital signage in the Russian transportation industry. Reliable product quality was very critical. For this, LG was the best partner we could have had, thanks to its global reputation as a leader in the digital signage industry,” said Ludmila Ignatova, general manager, Tegrus (LG system integrator partner).

Capturing Imaginations 

Despite the short timeframe for installation and troubleshooting, each and every piece of digital signage within Terminal B has been operating beautifully from the get-go. The FIDS also operate reliably, providing passengers with essential flight information. Sheremetyevo officials are more than pleased with the results.

“The equipment we received perfectly meets our needs, and we are very pleased to have worked with LG. Every day, we can see the ‘wow’ factor the digital signage displays provide our passengers,” said Kirill Kulikov, head of IT infrastructure, Sheremetyevo International Airport.

A Lasting Impression

Terminal B’s usage of digital signage as works of art immediately captured the attention of passengers. The enormous LED signage totem and two Circle and Cube installations became talking points, and have even trended on social media at times.

Visitors may only pass through the airport for small window of time, but there is no doubt the video walls and their cutting-edge content leave an impression long after the visitors have returned home. Russian culture and art will remain as a positive memory for those who have the opportunity to soak it all in.

The staff at Digital Signage Magazine is comprised of a group of experts in the signage and DOOH industries.