The Spheres Understory

Absolutely Amazonian


The Challenge:

Sometimes the biggest challenges we face on a job involve the stuff that most people will never see. For Understory, a free public exhibit located inside Amazon’s innovative new “Spheres” buildings, this meant coming up with a few clever innovations of our own.

The Solution:

Central to the exhibit is a media installation that allows visitors to view dazzling footage of the over forty-thousand plants that live inside the Spheres. Due to a lack of accessibility from the back, we built the fifteen-foot-long, one-ton video wall with a sturdy, aesthetically unobtrusive hinge that allows the front panel to swing out, providing easy access to the LED video modules within.

The eleven LED pylons that form a sort of video version of stone hedge, needed to be free standing, with all power and data supplied through cables in the floor.  They also had to be movable, so that the space could double as a reception area for other events.

Moving a nine-foot-tall, four-hundred-pound custom television can be a little dicey…moving eleven of them is an accident waiting to happen.  So, rather than having the staff pick-up and move the pylons themselves, we built a “pylon jack,” a custom-made machine that allows one person to transport the screens without marring the housing or jostling the delicate electronics inside.

For the five modular display clusters that encircle the media installation we used deep-set castors and hidden magnets to precisely align the multiple components. This enabled each of the distinctive displays to be easily broken down and moved, then reassembled later with ease.

Experience Counts:

This sleek, media installation and interactive experience employed nearly the full spectrum of our fabrication and technical expertise.  Whether it be the precision welding required to fabricate the video screens for Understory, or the complex engineering and out-of-the-box thinking needed to accommodate our clients’ immediate and long-term needs, Dillon Works continues to meet each new challenge with both hard-earned experience and innovative new ideas.

Client: Acorn Development LLC/Amazon
Design & Fabrication Team:
Dillon Works – Exhibit Fabrication
Graham Baba Architects – Exhibit Architect
Studio Matthews – Exhibit Design
Belle & Wissell – Media Experience Design
Jill Randerson Exhibit Management
The Radisch Co. (and Strangelife) – Film Production
Whitlock – A/V Integration
Coffman Engineers
Venue: Amazon HQ, Seattle, WA