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Belgium’s Permeke Library gets eye-catching LED display

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As the Belgian city of Antwerp’s main library, the striking glass cube construction of the Permeke Library sits on what was the site of Oscar Permeke’s Ford garage. This was one of the first Ford dealerships in the world and a name that has long been associated with the city.

In 1982, the garage was closed permanently before reopening its doors again in April 2005 as the public library. Open seven days a week and visited by approximately 2,200 people daily, this September saw the installation of a Leyard Luminate Pro Outdoor Series (LPO) LED screen, replacing the library’s original system of printed posters that alerted its users to its activities.

As well as a wide range of books, comics, CDs, DVDs, music scores, audio stories, newspapers and magazines, the Permeke Library is also a cultural meeting centre with a reading garden, workshop rooms and an auditorium with foyer, where numerous activities and performances take place – previously all communicated via printed brochures.

“In the past the library had always stuck posters to the glass,” said Jonas Dossche, audio-visual consultant at Play AV. “Not only was it expensive to have them printed each time, but tedious to take down and replace each time they wanted to advertise something new.

“The client wanted a more up-to-date, digital solution to allow them to quickly change the content and make it more captivating and engaging.”

Supplied and installed by full-service audio-visual company, Play AV, the new Leyard Luminate Pro (LPO) Series LED wall is the first official installation of the revamped Leyard LPO in Europe and puts the library even more in spotlight as a prominent landmark of De Coninckplein Square, located in the heart of Antwerp.

The 1.5m x 4m (3 x 8 module) LED wall comprises Leyard LPO5.9 LED panels, offering a visually eye-catching replacement to the outdated poster communication.

“The new Leyard LED wall offers a much more diverse and vibrant way of communicating upcoming events, activities and other general information that could be of importance to the library visitors,” said Dossche.

“Additionally, the modern LED structure really complements the striking glass cube structure of the library.”

The library wanted a screen that was outdoor rated because, although it is positioned behind glass, it is between the glass and the building, so is still open to the elements and needs to be able to cope with humidity, cold and heat.

“It also needs to be high brightness so it can be seen in direct sunlight,” Dossche added. “This is why the client wanted the LPO outdoor solution.

“It chose a 5.9mm pixel pitch, which offered a perfect compromise between budget and viewing distance. The minimum view distance is six metres, which is more than sufficient here. It also perfectly fits with the type of content that is being displayed – normally large graphics and text with not too much detail.”

A light sensor was also fitted to automatically adjust the its brightness depending on the ambient light levels. And a cloud-based signage player finished off the complete setup.

With years of experience selling, renting and installing AV products and services for both small and large companies, Play AV was in charge of installing the screen.

“It was quite straightforward to install the screen as there is scaffolding between the glass and the wall of the building so the glass can be cleaned,” said Play AV’s project manager, Stijn Holemans.

“We mounted two brackets on the scaffolding and the whole screen was hung from that. It only took us around a day to complete the installation. As the screen is quite compact in size and there’s rear access to the panels from the scaffolding, it’s also easy to do maintenance when necessary.”

“From the beginning, the key objective was to find an effective and budget-friendly solution to replace our outdated poster communication method,” said Permeke Library’s production and project manager, Christophe Côme.

“We felt that Leyard’s LED solution ticked all our boxes and provided the best digital multipurpose canvas for our needs.”

“It is beyond exciting to see the first official European installation of the revamped Leyard LPO at the Permeke Library,” concluded Dossche.

“The LED wall offers unparalleled visual excellence and an engaging way to capture the attention of passers-by with a memorable glimpse of the many types of experiences and events on offer inside the venue, so it’s great to see the library team recognising that and taking full advantage of the LED technology.”

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