If we had to summarize building design trends in a few words, it would be this: bright, open spaces. Workspaces, living areas, classrooms, conference rooms – everywhere you go, people are creating light-filled spaces that are inviting and proven to enhance performance and morale.
For Lindenwood University, a 15,600-student institution in St. Charles, Mo., there was no question that their new library would incorporate as much natural light as possible. Their goal was to create an inviting, open-concept building packed with amenities, resources and the latest technologies.
To do this, they announced construction of a new 100,000-square-foot building called the Lindenwood Library and Academic Resources Center (LARC).
“It’s a library, of course, but in this day and age, libraries are shifting significantly,” explains TJ Rains, Lindenwood’s Vice President for Information Technology and CIO.
“Print materials have gone down significantly. In place, we’re pushing a lot of digital subscription services for content, areas for students to study, and collaboration spaces within the facility to encourage students, faculty and staff to work together on projects.”
Collaboration Inside Lindenwood University Contends with All That Light
For the collaboration spaces, Lindenwood planned to add 20 general-use classrooms as a place for people to gather and work together when needed.
Since the LARC was designed as a state-of- the-art facility, the Lindenwood team was looking for the latest and greatest screen technology for these rooms. One major challenge, however, was that they had to contend with all the bright, natural light in the building.
To help bring their technology-rich library to life, Lindenwood worked with Mike Chitwood, Systems Sales Manager and audio-visual designer at Schillers, their preferred AV partner.
According to Rains, Schillers has helped maintain a high-quality experience in all of the university’s classrooms and specialty spaces for many years, so they were confident the company could go the extra mile to find the best solution and deliver the cutting-edge AV experience they needed in the LARC.
For the classroom spaces, Lindenwood looked to Schillers to find a projection solution that provided a crisp, bright image in areas with an abundance of light.
“We really wanted to emphasize openness in the LARC, so as such, you’ll see that many of the spaces are wide and open in their design with a lot of light which often times can cause challenges with projection,” Rains said.
Da-Lite ALR Projection Screens Block Ambient Light
Chitwood saw Da-Lite’s ambient light rejecting (ALR projection screens) product Parallax at InfoComm and was wowed by the performance. Parallax blocks up to 96% of ambient light while offering extremely wide viewing angles.
The original “wish list” of the client would have included large flat panel displays in each classroom.
However, based on viewing distances and cost constraints, Chitwood knew he had to bring another option to the table.
Initially, Chitwood kept an open mind and tried other ALR solutions. In the end, however, he was confident in the Parallax solution, both because of the performance and his longstanding relationship with Da-Lite.
The Schillers team implemented Parallax 0.8 in all 20 classroom spaces.
The LARC opened in fall 2017 and received rave reviews from the Lindenwood community.
According to the Schillers team, installing the Parallax screens in the community spaces was a breeze, and the solutions performed exactly as expected.
“The first thing that I want to happen when I’m testing a system is to walk in and say, ‘That’s what I was going for, that’s what I wanted to deliver to the client.’ And Parallax did that,” Chitwood said.
As for Lindenwood University, the school was thrilled with Schiller’s work and the performance of Parallax.
“The feedback has been very positive,” Rains shared. “Often times I hear that it’s better than an LCD or LED display. The crispness and vibrancy of the image is top notch.”