AO Australian Open

“Our experience in designing bespoke mechanical solutions as part of AV systems integration, coupled with our work around the world on large scale events, led us to believe we could create a viable and cost-effective solution,” said Chris Dodds, who took the design lead on the AO logo (device) project back in August 2016, in preparation for its first showing at the Jan 2017 event.

The solution was based on a stainless-steel space frame structure, similar to the construction of an airframe. Each of the 440 pieces of stainless steel were laser cut and folded from one of 230 separate patterns and then assembled in the workshop with a combination of bolts and rivets. The fabrication did not rely on a frame per se, rather, a combination of flat 3mm panels and lateral spokes or ribs provided the structural integrity required. Stainless steel was chosen to provide a durable and elegant surface for the logo over time. Paint was simply not an option given its proposed deployment in public spaces.

The side surfaces are a combination of grey tinted polycarbonate and a specially imported acrylic diffuser, selected to enhance the look of the 1,900 triple chip LED pixels that surround the body of the AO logo. The 3.9mm pitch outdoor LED screen is accessible from the front of the unit for maintenance, while the server and interconnections are accessed through lockable rear hatches.

AO Australian Open

The assembled screen is some 3.2m high, almost 7m long and 850mm deep. It weighs some 2.5tonne. The system is designed to fit in its own 20’ High Cube shipping container, incorporates its own media server and sound system and is complete with its own stage.

“Tennis Australia arranged some exceptional content, through both Sydney-based animation agency Looper and Tennis Australia’s own media team, which brought the logo to life,” recalls Chris Dodds.

“The P.A. People took a concept and brought it to life with an extraordinary feat of engineering,” said Jo Juler, Head of Marketing – AO.