New highlight for Big Apple

Ursula Herrling-Tusch
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Largest Mediamesh® facade in the world at Port Authority Bus Terminal

Broadway and business, nightlife and neon adverts – this is the pulsating heart of Times Square in New York, the city that never sleeps. Just 500 metres from this legendary spot is one of the best known and busiest bus stations in the world, the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Opened in 1950 and continually extended and modified over the past 60 years, it is today the number one transport hub for commuters and overland passengers. Over three billion people have visited the terminal to date. Extending over five storeys and with a usable area of more than 23,000 m², the bus station is not just a terminal, it also houses a shopping centre and stretches imposingly over two blocks between 40th and 42nd Street and 8th and 9th Avenue. Its overbearing metal grid facade has earned it the title of one of the ten ugliest buildings in the world. However, the facade of the Port Authority Bus Terminals is now being given a facelift with the largest transparent media facade in the world. Mediamesh®, a transparent advertising and communication platform made of stainless steel mesh with integrated LED profiles, visually enhances the facade and makes it the brilliant symbol of new digital signage solutions. The medialised mesh system is the intelligent answer to previously unresolved issues of illuminated advertising.

High visibility

The busy bus station is ideal as an advertising location with 7200 buses arriving and more than 200,000 people passing through the giant terminal every day. With the installation of the 552m² Mediamesh® facade, the operator of the bus station has realised this enormous publicity potential. The new attention-grabbing Mediamesh®, which will take the place of the previous billboard, easily outclasses it in terms of both size and visibility. It is designed as a corner facade with both sides consisting of eight panels. Each of these panels will be 10.8 metres high and 3.22 metres wide. The rectangular installation of the two advertising surfaces enables the messages to run right round the corner. Thanks to the vastness of the location it is possible to achieve an image resolution that loses none of its brilliance even at a distance of 80 metres. Over 4 million pixels, arranged 5 cm apart vertically and 4.25 cm horizontally, ensure the complete daylight suitability and video compatibility of the large-format display. Powerful LEDs provide high-quality reproduction of moving images, commercials and high-quality graphics around the clock with a huge advertising impact. The almost invisible cabling gives the innovative media facade an attractive rear and ensures that those inside the building can see out without interference. Mediamesh® combines the advantages of a high-performance LED display with visual transparency. This means that the system allows unhindered use of the rooms behind the display. The operator therefore benefits from optimal use of the property with fully functional rooms with natural lighting as well as lucrative advertising income from the external facade.

Suitable for all weathers

As a future-oriented digital signage concept Mediamesh® boasts an array of additional features that underscore the extraordinary performance of the system. Thanks to waterproof electronics and the ability to cope with temperatures from –20°C to +70°C and windspeeds up to 235 km/hr, the transparent media facade can reliably deal with anything New York's unpredictable climate can throw at it. The open mesh design transforms the intake air into a weakened airflow, thus enabling the escape of automobile exhaust fumes and a natural air circulation. Freedom from maintenance and only a sixth of the normal energy consumption of conventional displays underline the excellent efficiency of the system. The 16 Mediamesh® panels are attached to the existing metal structure at the top and bottom with circular rods and eyebolts. Installation took place in May 2011 and the major challenge here was the fact that work on the bus station building took place during normal operation. Despite the traffic and the crowds of people, it was vital to keep the disturbance to passers-by and passengers to a minimum. GKD is therefore carried out the entire installation from inside and from the roof of the building. Completion of the largest transparent media facade in the world is scheduled for the end of June 2011. A further superlative for the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York – and an illuminated benchmark for the neighbouring Times Square.

Largest Mediamesh® facade in the world at Port Authority Bus Terminal
Largest Mediamesh® facade in the world at Port Authority Bus Terminal

Mediamesh® facade at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York. © GKD/ A2a MEDIA

Largest Mediamesh® facade in the world at Port Authority Bus Terminal

Mediamesh® stainless steel mesh with integrated LED profiles. © GKD

Largest Mediamesh® facade in the world at Port Authority Bus Terminal

Mediamesh® facade at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York. © GKD/ A2a MEDIA

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