Hy-Vee, one of the largest Midwest supermarket chains, needed to showcase their history, awards, and recognize employees and leaders when renovating the conference center inside their Iowa headquarters. The tech-heavy experience allows guests to interact with 20 motion activated touch screens and six 360-degree Nanolumens screens while learning about Hy-Vee’s legacy.
In 2016, Hy-Vee broke ground on a major, seven-year headquarters expansion. The first phase focused on doubling the size of their conference center in West Des Moines, Iowa.
One of Hy-Vee’s primary goals in the new 11, 000-square-foot conference space was to find a way to share their storied history and awards, while also recognizing long-time employees and company leaders in an interesting and engaging way. The space also needed the flexibility to be updated over time.
Dimensional Innovations collaborated with Hy-Vee and transformed the space by adding elements such as a founders wall, large awards display exhibiting trophies and artifacts throughout the years, a history wall that moves through several decades, massive columns with 360-degree Nanolumens screens that display past and present Hy-Vee advertisements and an interactive touchscreen that recognizes all the employees who have worked for Hy-Vee for more than 40 years.
With the sheer mass of content Hy-Vee had collected over several decades and a space that had to double as an event venue while accommodating hundreds of people, the main question to solve was, ‘How are we going to tell Hy-Vee’s story while maintaining a relatively small footprint within the space?’
Not only did we need to tell Hy-Vee’s history in this allotted space, but we also needed to leave room for them to add to their story in the years ahead.
Another hurdle we encountered took place during the installation process. The height at which the touchscreens were installed was not handicap-accessible. The original designs did not take into consideration that there may be visitors or employees who would be wheelchair-bound. As quickly as we noticed this problem, we made adjustments to solve it.
Through thoughtful design, we created a solution allowing this to be an interactive and engaging space to tell Hy-Vee’s story, while also being a functional area. We built and nested the freestanding leadership wall and awards case in the window areas, making them almost as tall as the ceiling and providing a more vertical showcase area.
One of our most creative solutions was building the columns in the entry vestibule and turning them into display cases. This allowed us more wall space for various images and physical artifacts. By looping Hy-Vee’s advertisements on the 360-degree Nanolumens screens around the columns, we were also able to share Hy-Vee’s marketing history—something they attributed to their success.
The space also has the flexibility to evolve with the company. Touchscreen information can easily be updated and abstract design elements allow them to easily add to the space.
Hy-Vee’s headquarters history pavilion highlights the company’s achievements and leaders since its inception 86 years ago and pays tribute to their employees, a center focus of their culture and company values.
“The opening of this conference center not only is a result of our past successes, but it’s a symbol of the growth that lies ahead for Hy-Vee.” said Sheila Laing, Hy-Vee’s Executive VP of Government/Industry Relations and CCO.
This 11,000-square-foot history pavilion brings state-of-the-art audio and visual technology, a high-tech lighting system and includes color-changing LEDs. It is open to the public and will host an increased number of high-profile events in the years to come.