Sberbank, established 175 years ago, is a major Russian bank. In spring this year, the main entrance to 2, Ulitsa Krasnogo Tekstilshchika, location of the bank’s regional HQ for Northwest Russia, opened to reveal the newly refurbished entrance hall.

A video wall, consisting of 43 Christie MicroTiles, draws the attention of anyone entering the building. The installation was completed by LANIT Nord-West (part of the LANIT Group), a systems integrator specialising in solutions for the banking sector, in collaboration with Christie technology distributor DIGIS.

Nikolay Barabanshchikov, head of multimedia systems at LANIT Nord-West, comments, “We were given the challenge of providing a multimedia installation for the head office’s refurbished entrance hall; and the floors above the hall create a practical and effective space for collaborative work. Key to the brief was the customer’s desire to create a bold and eye-catching visual feature. That’s where MicroTiles came in: the modular ‘building block’ displays allow us to create an installation of virtually any shape and size.”

Inspiration for the project came from the large-scale visual display at the London Stock Exchange, which also uses Christie MicroTiles to open and close the day’s trading, as well the launch of new company shares on the exchange.

“The customer refers to the installation as the ‘Walk of Fame’; it is the first thing visitors see when they enter the building. Before the refurbishment the space was used to display photos of employees of the month across several 20-inch diagonal LCD monitors in a structure that represented the bank’s logo. A kind of modern-day roll of honour,” Nikolay continues.

“The new solution developed in collaboration with DIGIS gives the customer a lot more flexibility in in how they show the content. One photograph can be displayed on each individual MicroTile to create a portrait gallery, or use the entire display as a single digital canvas to show video footage and other types of material.”

Like the London Stock Exchange, this installation mounts the MicroTiles at varying depths. Face on, the videowall appears like other large 2D screen, but as the viewer moves past the wall, the changes in depth highlight the displayed content of individual MicroTiles and help to create a three-dimensional structure; which stands out far more than a ubiquitous 2D flat screens and attracts more interest from those passing by.

Describing the challenges encountered during the project, Nikolay highlighted the video wall support structure: “At the early design stage, prefabricated mounting supports for this type of cube arrangement were not available, so these had to be built to order for the dimensions required.

“Fortunately, even with just a small space to work with, the MicroTiles design features (particularly front access for maintenance) make them possible to install in a fairly shallow recess – ensuring, of course, a carefully calculated distance for ventilation. Given that MicroTiles generate a low level of heat, there is no need for additional cooling systems, this being a requirement for most other large-format displays; and this also saves energy.”

The content is displayed using four media players and four MicroTiles ECUs. MicroTiles display modules stand out for their long service life, exceptional brightness and high resolution. “As a result of the non-standard ratio of the sides (the video wall is a maximum of 5 cubes high and 10 wide) and the high pixel density, the resolution is greater than 4K, with 4650 x 1740 pixels, providing clarity of image even from close up,” adds Nikolay.

LANIT has often worked with Sberbank and this project in the St. Petersburg head office has already stimulated the interest of other regional branches. Several months have gone by since the refurbished office opened, but the early positive feedback from colleagues remains undiminished.

Nikolay Barabanshchikov explains, “The refurbished areas of the office demonstrate innovation, comfort and sustainability. This single multi-functional office space combines state-of-the-art imaging display technology which is both bright and unusual, as well as natural design elements, a living wall of green plants and a graphic waterfall. It all works together in symbiosis.”

The types of content that can be displayed on this digital canvas are extremely varied. They include St. Petersburg cityscapes, as well as photos and videos of corporate events, including sports competitions. In the summer, the video wall became a digital art gallery: scanned images of children’s’ drawings were on display to celebrate International Children’s Day on 1 June. There are more than 8 million pixels – a truly remarkable number, and enough to show any type of content.

“Christie solutions are well known and used in landmark installations worldwide,” comments Pavel Sigov, distribution director at DIGIS.

“It is a particular pleasure to note the level of professionalism shown by our colleagues from LANIT, who combined an interest in contemporary trends in the world of multimedia with a high level of engineering competence in their approach to the installation. They have developed a design which is both beautiful and effective.”