Edwards Lifesciences is the global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease and critical care monitoring. The medical technology company partners with physicians to innovate products designed to help patients live longer, healthier and more productive lives.
At its corporate headquarters in Irvine, California, Edwards has built a campus across approximately 50 acres which includes offices, laboratories for research and development, a conference center, a heart valve manufacturing facility and even a museum. The headquarters also offers a range of amenities and recreational facilities for its more than 5,000 employees, with open workspaces and outdoor areas to encourage collaboration and an energetic work environment.
As part of a continuing expansion of the Irvine campus, Edwards constructed a new building with a seven-tiered auditorium holding 252 seats and featuring state-of-the-art audio visual technology. Along with an L-Acoustics audio system, cameras, microphones and full auto camera tracking for every seat, the stunning centerpiece is a massive 92-foot-long, 18-foot-high (46x16) Planar® TVF Series LED video wall with a 1.5mm pixel pitch (TVF1.5) that is curved to match the curved architecture of the room. Global design and architecture firm Gensler designed the LED video wall in collaboration with audio visual solutions provider Sound Image and technology consultant PLANNET. Sound Image also performed the installation.
When Tom Porter, senior vice president of Corporate Services at Edwards Lifesciences, first approached Gensler, his concept for the new auditorium was to create something extremely special, said Gensler Design Principal and Managing Director James Young. “He wanted it to be very unique, something never seen before,” Young said. “We learned about his vision for this new space and set about to design a video wall that would be the dominating feature of the room.”
Sound Image Account Executive Jared Shapiro said the client’s intent for the LED video wall was to leave people in awe. “We’re talking about a medical technology company that is an innovator in what they do and they wanted the AV systems in this space to be on the same level.”
Intimate and Immersive
Porter’s idea for the new auditorium manifested as an environment resembling a theater with the Planar TVF Series LED video wall creating a deeply engaging setting for hybrid meetings, presentations and special events. “As more of our work has become Teams-orientated [Microsoft Teams], our desire was to have a space that could accommodate a large group of local and remote participants,” he said.
Within the first few weeks of opening the auditorium, Edwards hosted a senior leadership meeting and several other events, and the response was overwhelmingly positive, according to Porter. “The venue and LED video wall create an environment that is very intimate. We anticipate using the space for leadership meetings, visiting clinicians and for demonstrations because videos and presentations are so impactful on the screen.”
Edwards also has the flexibility to configure the digital canvas in any way they see fit, whether its 16 windows or a single presentation. “And the beauty of the video wall is that we can push and pull content anywhere we want,” Porter said. “It’s a blank slate. The display is very dynamic, and that's what we love about it.”
Young said, “When you walk into that room, the video wall is very powerful. We do projects all over the world and when I share photos of the auditorium with other clients, they are amazed." Shapiro noted that one of the reasons Sound Image specified Planar was because more than a manufacturer, Planar is a strategic partner. “I know that if something happens, they are going to help me solve problems,” he said. “Still, we don’t get many warranty calls with Planar installs and that speaks volumes about the product.”