Transforming an industrial site from the past into a high-tech innovation hub of the future
For over 100 years, the OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni, a train manufacturing and repair complex – cast an imposing presence over the heart of Turin, Italy. But when the late 19th century complex closed in the early 1990s, it’s future looked bleak. Abandoned, derelict and facing calls for demolition, it could have become another lost monument. That it hasn’t, that it has instead found a new purpose as a tech innovation, creativity and entertainment hub, is thanks to Fondazione CRT, which purchased the 35,000 m2 complex and began transforming it. We’re proud to have played a small part in the stunning result.
Fondazione CRT’s plan was to turn the former train repair facility into an internationally oriented workshop for culture, innovation and business acceleration. It would combine high tech solutions with environmental sustainability, flexible use with historical preservation, and offer easy and welcoming access for all. New and old in inspiring and functional harmony. As part of this, Fondazione CRT needed a quality digital signage system offering lots of options. This included creating a video wall that would turn an elevator shaft, in the restaurant, into a centrepiece, plus dozens of screens for the foyer, media room and events area. Fondazione CRT further required turnkey support for the supply and installation of equipment, including custom-designed wallmount and floor supports. Our partner Sisme’s know-how and previous successful projects with Fondazione CRT saw it win the contract. And then they turned to us.
Sisme supplies professional A/V brands and offers system design, marketing and communications support, logistics, and an in-house repair service. Importantly for this project, it combines technical skills with the aesthetic eye of an interior designer. For the central restaurant area, the idea was to turn an elevator shaft into an attractive feature. We did this by creating the largest high resolution digital signage ever installed in Italy, rising 15 metres. For the foyer, it was important that the signage should itself form part of the innovative, high tech message. A combination of six-metre-tall video wall and 84” wall displays help ensure the medium is also the message. In the media room, we used two 98” displays, and we enhanced the events area experience with two LED walls.
By working together, we SISME and its other partners (who supplied customized supports and frame templates to easily align the displays) were able to cut the total installation time to just five days. Equally importantly, controlling the displays and their content is easy thanks to the incorporation of an advanced graphics interface for playing multimedia content. The result is that four years after the transformation began, the new OGR reopened in September 2017 as a bright, vibrant workshop for the future – a forward-looking concept that includes sharing information and entertainment through our innovative signage network. Form and function in beautiful harmony. Just like the new-look OGR itself.