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NOW LIVE: Largest Digital Ceiling in Europe Part of Manchester’s Printworks Transformation

The transformation of Manchester’s landmark leisure scheme, Printworks, has been revealed today (Wednesday 20 March 2024) following a £21M refurbishment.

Responding to evolving leisure trends with the creation of a unique technology-led experience, owner DTZ Investors has delivered a true world of entertainment with a fully immersive and interactive environment, on a scale not found elsewhere in the UK.

The centrepiece is a new 1,000m² LED ceiling – the largest in Europe – covering the scheme’s internal streets. Created by venue transformation specialists ADI, this innovative media architecture integrates with lighting, audio and creative content to deliver an awe-inspiring experience that evolves from day to night.

Landmark Media Architecture

Comprising over 10,720,900 pixels and around 115 metres in length, the spectacular digital ceiling allows the ambience inside Printworks to continually transform to suit varying audiences and align with live events and brand activations taking place.

The screen itself features a new fire-rated LED product developed by ADI to pass the highest safety standards. The MTF range – a next generation lightweight and slimline product – was designed specifically with interior architectural applications in mind. Having undergone stringent fire testing, it’s believed to be the world’s only LED module to meet the BSEN 13501-1 classification.

" The project has not been without challenges given the scale and complexity; the digital ceiling is made of three separate mega screens that are unusually shaped and at different heights to seamlessly integrate with the existing architecture. We also had to go through a rigorous R&D process - with intensive testing and prototype design - to develop an LED screen product that achieved the strict fire performance requirements for incorporating very large format displays into internal public spaces. "

Powerful Green Hippo media servers were specified by ADI to drive video, lighting and audio play-out, while content scheduling and triggers are managed through a user-friendly Signagelive interface.

In line with the future ambitions of Printworks, ADI will provide remote production and event broadcast services over their Live Venue network, which connects over 90 UK stadia and leisure destinations to its centralised production studios – based in Preston – over dedicated fibre connectivity.

Showstopping Creative

ADI worked in partnership with award winning Manchester animation studio Flipbook to conceptualise and produce a huge variety of content-driven experiences for the ceiling, from vast AI generative animations to heart-stopping, story-led video. Every piece is designed to bring the huge digital canvas to life and evolve the experience for visitors, including seasonal extravaganzas and beautiful atmospheric content that develop the venue into a must-see attraction.

" There are nearly 100 pieces of content ready for launch, and these range from live action filming to advanced 3D animation, through to AI-generated artwork and collaborations with international creatives. All of these pieces have been created to be experienced through the unique viewpoint below this giant digital canvas. "

In the coming months more interactive experiences will be incorporated; the installation of heat mapping cameras throughout the venue will allow real time, audience-generated content to appear on the ceiling based on the movement and volume of people inside Printworks.

Wider Venue Digitalisation

In the region of 1,550 m² of LED ceiling, digital signage and large-format screens have been installed by ADI across the interior and exterior façade of Printworks. These include a giant 90m² interactive gaming screen as well as other new features such as Wayfinders and high-level LED ribbon, which will engage visitors and enhance their experience, while supporting tenant trade.

Client Comment

" This transformation is without precedent and is a game changer for the UK leisure sector. We’ve created something unique at Printworks which will continue to entertain domestic and international visitors for years to come. This has only been possible due to the dedication and commitment from a large professional team, overcoming many challenges through the last five years from inception to delivery.
Printworks has been a successful and resilient scheme since opening, over 20 years ago. DTZ Investors is responding to the changes seen in the way consumers spend their leisure time and the high expectations placed upon such entertainment destinations. Advancements in technology have enabled us to innovate and strengthen the Printworks brand to ensure it remains at the forefront of UK leisure. ”

The overall refurbishment has been designed by Glasgow based architects CDA and the creative team as a whole have been guided throughout the project by Creative Director David Fraser of destination specialists, Harrison:Fraser. The scheme which is managed by Cushman & Wakefield also remained open throughout the entire refurbishment.

" This project has been extremely exciting and ambitious given the scale and complexity; we also had the challenges of the global pandemic and the supply chain issues that followed as well as a bespoke digital ceiling, the largest in Europe. Despite this, what we have achieved is a digital destination not normally seen outside of America or Asia. ”

For more information on the Printworks project click here, or to speak to our Sales Team please call 0800 592 346 or email info@adi.tv

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ADI unveil the largest digital ceiling in Europe as part of Manchester’s Printworks Transformation.

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