Exterior Advertising Goes Digital at London City Airport

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City Suite is a revolutionary digital exterior advertising portfolio at London City Airport (LCY). The three distinct structures are located on the forecourt and key car park locations, reaching 100 percent of passengers. With bespoke design and a custom-build, the digital assets draw inspiration from the industrial dockyard infrastructure and London City aviation heritage. Materials included patinated brass and formed concrete to create an organic product that would age naturally over time.

Nominating Company: Wildstone Airports, London, U.K.
Venue: London City Airport, London, U.K.
Project: City Suite at London City Airport
Category: Transportation

BACKGROUND
The specialist advertising experts at Wildstone Airports were commissioned by Global Infrastructure Partners and London City Airport to design and develop a digital advertising portfolio, including the development of initial design concepts, detailed design, construction and build. City Suite is a design-led advertising vision comprised of digital assets. Three distinct designs created the family of digital assets that were linked through their identifiable tail fin design, use of industrial style patination and cast concrete to provide an industrial look and feel. The structures provided architectural focus in addition to incorporating LCD and LED screens at their heart.

The City Suite consists of:
City Traveler – 13 off 75-inch Samsung High Bright LCD digital small format units. Single sided, doubled-sided and tri-sided
City Icon – 1 digital icon using a 6-millimeter LED screen supplied by Unilumen,
City Welcome – 12mtr x 3mtr LED screen

CHALLENGES
With no existing digital exterior portfolio in place, we supported LCY to develop the business plan and take the project forward for capital approval. We collaborated with the airport team to develop a design theme, presenting and agreeing on a palette of materials and concepts at Board Level, which then was approved as the final scheme. We produced full technical drawings for each structure, screen and enclosure in addition to enhancing electrical and data connectivity and recommending digital screen and software technology.

Groundbreaking design and use of completely unique materials had its challenges. Getting the patination right and forming large sections of concrete added to the complexity of the project. Working near the perimeter fence and airside created a high-security working environment with complex and detailed planning required, as access was limited to certain hours.

SOLUTIONS
We worked collaboratively with London City to agree on location planning, a theme and a palette of organic materials that fit sympathetically into its environment. 3D modelling bought reality as we could review any angle and see how locations would work with road systems and passenger flow. It helped support decision making as we could accurately assess the angles and visualize what the structures would look like in the context of the environment. Importantly, we could be certain to hit the target audience.
We project managed the construction plan under an NEC contract and conformed to Construction Design Management Guidelines. The completely digital solution created the opportunity to maximize and increase revenue streams, which have been realized.

Wildstone Airports_London City Airport 01

RESULTS
With the highest resolution screen in an exterior airport environment and groundbreaking design, the family of digital assets has resulted in a commercially viable scheme that has been immensely successful.

“All formats have been very well received by advertisers, in particular, the large-format LED designs, which are a completely new addition to the Media Assets at London City Airport,” said London City Airport’s Media Sales Manager Sally Emms. “City Welcome has provided a completely new experience for passengers entering the airport. It has encompassed a complete redesign of the roundabout and surrounding architecture.”

“From initial designs through to development and build, the team brought London City’s digital advertising vision to life,” said Wildstone Airports’ Managing Director Paula Oliver.

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