Design Details: Creating a Multi-Sensory Experience at Bridgestone Arena

The details – from the repurposing of a basketball court in an historic venue to the integration of reclaimed redwood to communicate sustainable design in a convention center – are often what come to shape the experience and memories of visitors in venues across the country. It is no secret that technology is playing a role in this – is impacting the stories we tell and the experiences we create and changing the way people interact and collaborate in powerful ways.

The Lexus Lounge at Bridgestone Arena

As interior designers, we’ve been keen on integrating technology to create more immersive experiences and touchpoints for interactions with fans. While technology is important, it’s also secondary to the human experience of attending a game. I ask myself and team questions like “How are we using technology to better this space?”; “Is this use of technology creating clutter or enhancing the aesthetic?”; “Is this creating a multi-sensory experience that can only be appreciated in person?”; and “Does this help accomplish our clients’ goals and vision?” One of my personal favorite recent examples of the integration of technology is at Bridgestone Arena, a building we designed and have had the opportunity to renovate to create unique premium spaces, clubs, suites and bars over the past decade. The Lexus Lounge is a perfect example of interior design that elevates the Nashville Predators’ brand using technology. We designed a 47 foot long, 2mm convex LED wall that rises above the main bar allowing patrons to see plays develop as the entire ice sheet is shown in one captivating view.  Just fifteen feet away from the LED wall, fans are given unprecedented access to Nashville Predators players as they walk through the club before and after the game, giving fans a chance to keep an eye on the ice sheet while high-fiving their favorite players.  The integration of technology feels seamless in this case, not detracting from the game but enhancing it by giving access to a view that is exclusive and creates a feeling of being in front row seats in the arena.

This use of technology is effective in part because of the focus on the senses that guide us and the experience that complements the technology.  We designed thinking about the textures, materials and graphics that speak to both the Predators and Lexus brands resulting in a combination of gritty and sleek – with brick, polished concrete floors, rich wood furnishings, pops of bold color and exposed, painted ceilings. Since these interior details speak so clearly to the brands with whom we worked, the technology becomes an asset to reinforcing the brand and the experience, rather than a distraction. Whether in an arena, training facility or retail store, technology as part of thoughtful interior design allows us to tell a story through a space that is truly memorable.

Each month, a different interior designer from Populous will discuss one design feature and the impact it has had on a space. Stay tuned and join the conversation using #POPDesignDetails. Suggestions on a feature? Comment below and let us know!

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