Gail Chiasson, North American Editor
A research library at North Carolina State University’s James B. Hunt Jr. Library in Raleigh, North Carolina has, with the help of Christie and The Sextant Group, been designed as an exciting, purpose-built environment where students and faculty can interact with top-of-the-line digital technology to further their research and education.
By redefining the components of the research library, the school’s goal is to secure a competitive advantage by equipping students with collaborative research tools for solving problems in today’s tech-driven society. The library sets a new standard in combining technological innovation, student engagement and striking architecture..
To achieve this, Christie MicroTiles, Christie projectors, and Christie Spyder X20 video processors have all been put to use.
Maurice York, head of Information Technology, NCSU Libraries, North Carolina State University, says, “Our goal was to, figuratively, ‘blow the walls off’ the library. This meant large-scale display visualization and content to create a truly collaborative technology incubator. In addition, the new central facility had to utilize open technologies, continuously repurposed, that could work for molecular dynamics one day and gaming that same day or next day.”
With AVI-SPL as integrator, design engineer The Sextant Group, project consultant, selected Christie to fit the extensive needs of the project, starting with Christie MicroTiles – the versatile digital building blocks that are configurable into any design or shape in any indoor environment. With each MicroTile measuring approximately 12-inches tall by 16 inches wide by 10 inches deep, they met the tight space required while achieving that ‘wow’ factor the University was looking for.
“The school wanted the highest resolution and highest color depth displays, but space was at a premium and the technology needed to be versatile enough to fit into various rooms and be used for various purposes,” says Scott Frey, design engineer.
Once the Christie MicroTiles were chosen, the project evolved into Christie projection systems and Christie Spyder X20 video processors as crucial solutions to achieving an engaging digital library.
The projectors are now helping immerse students and faculty in creative and interactive environments that can be reconfigured and repurposed at any time. The Christie Spyder X20 processors ensure the full potential of the Christie projectors and MicroTiles walls are realized, with their ability to blend, window, mix, and scale any source format and then route the signal to any destination device or combination of display devices quickly and easily.
“Advanced digital display media make learning more accessible – even fun – to students and act as a catalyst for ideas, creativity, and problem solving,” says Kathryn Cress, vice-president, global and corporate marketing, Christie. “At the Hunt Library, every pixel is dedicated to the students, with Christie playing a central role in bringing to fruition the groundbreaking concepts. We are proud to be part of this incredible project that takes a unique and creative approach to collaborative and engaging education.”
The Library includes:
- The iPearl Immersion Theater, used to showcase student exhibits, faculty theories and work, and to publicize speaking events to students and faculty on a 16-unit wide by 7-unit tall Christie MicroTiles installation lining a curved wall at the main pathway entrance;
- The Game Lab, including a 16-unit wide by 5-unit high MicroTiles display, designed as a place for play. It also serves as a vital resource for advancement in the study of games and design experimentation on a large, high-resolution scale. A Christie Spyder X20 video processor gives users complete control over the displayed content;
- The Art Wall, a 15-unit wide by 8-unit tall MicroTiles wall located above the ‘ASK US’ service point. Used to display photography and artwork of faculty and students, the Art Wall also features a welcome screen for visitors;
- Outside the Teaching and Visualization Lab, a 9-unit wide by 10-unit tall MicroTiles array configured in columns and separated by a wall. Used to display artistic video pieces and animation, the wall also displays what takes place inside the lab, which features 10 Christie Mirage WU7K-M 3-chip DLP stereoscopic projectors as part of a 270-degree immersive environment with seamless, blended images. A Christie Spyder X20 video processor controls the content;
- Inside the Creativity Studio, two Christie Mirage WU7K–M 3D projectors and four Christie DHD800 projectors displaying impeccably clear visual presentations by both students and faculty;
- A 4-unit wide by 4-unit tall MicroTiles array acting as a Creative Sandbox for a variety of uses;
- A 400-person Lecture Hall fitted with two Christie Mirage WU12K-M 3D projectors – lighting up one of the largest campus screens. Christie Twist, a solution that enables full image warping and advanced edge-blending, ensures perfect pixel alignment onto the curved projected surface. A Christie HD7K-J projectoris installed in a separate, 100-person meeting room.
The completed James B. Hunt Jr. Library has been a unanimous success at NC State, with faculty, students, and visitors in awe of the stunning visuals and technology. The university has achieved its goal of creating an iconic space where students and faculty from all disciplines can collaborate on new ideas, experiment with technology on a large scale, engage through course work and research, and showcase their work in a big way.
“Christie has been central to the success of the Hunt library, helping us to redefine a space and create a true visual environment, rather than just simply fill up a screen,” says York.