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State of the Art: The Intersection of Art and Technology at 11th & Idaho

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State of the Art: The Intersection of Art and Technology at 11th & Idaho
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The Challenge

Rafanelli and Nahas, the owners of the new commercial office building at 11th & Idaho in downtown Boise, ID, had a vision in mind when designing the lobby. They knew they wanted something that would differentiate their lobby and make their space stand out in the downtown area. After considering a variety of options, they landed on a showstopper to complete the 5,000 square-foot lobby – a video wall to be used as a revolving art installation.


NEC LED-FE015i2 1.5mm Indoor dvLED Display, providing vibrant LEDs that deliver excellent imaging in a cost-effective package, and for an installation like the focal point in a lobby, there are no external cables required for installation.


Located directly adjacent to Boise’s newest city park, 11th & Idaho features incredible views from its roof-top deck all the way down to its dramatic 18-foot high windows in the lobby. One of the key features of the building’s lobby is the expansive 8 feet x 15 feet Direct View LED (dvLED) wall from Sharp NEC Display Solutions that sets it apart from any other space. The lobby welcomes tenants and visitors by showcasing the natural beauty of the state with a gorgeous, vibrant public art display featuring majestic nature scenes from around Idaho by local video artists.

Building the Building

Prior to construction, Rafanelli and Nahas searched to find an architect that would provide a thoughtful, elegant design for its downtown Boise commercial office building to bring an urban feel like what one would find in San Francisco or London. The award-winning team at Perkins + Will delivered a design to attract and support the next generation of professionals in downtown Boise.

The building features dramatic 18-foot high ceilings in the lobby and floor to ceiling windows looking out onto 11th St and the sprawling downtown cityscape, P+W designed the space to feature an engaging, highly impactful video wall. The leaders at Rafanelli and Nahas looked to Neurilink, a leading Northwest-based audio visual integrator, to bring their technology vision to reality. After reviewing a number of technology options, Rafanelli and Nahas decided on an expansive 8 ft. x 15 ft. dvLED video wall from Sharp NEC Display Solutions.

DvLED is a video display technology that uses light emitting diodes (LEDs) to produce bright, vibrant images in red, blue and green colors. The dvLED wall provides several desirable characteristics that make this technology an ideal fit for the space. They are reliable, energy-efficient, very bright and deliver pristine color accuracy with better refresh rates than other technology on the market. DvLEDs are particularly well suited for providing eye-catching content for digital signage applications in almost any environment, either indoor or outdoor. This made dvLED technology ideal for the gorgeous 11th & Idaho lobby that is flooded with natural light from the 18-foot tall windows. Not only that, dvLED technology from NEC allows for unique screen configurations that have no visible gridlines or seams.

State of the ART

The goal of the video wall was to serve as more than a simple screen showing the news throughout the day. Rafanelli and Nahas wanted this dazzling display to be awe-inspiring for visitors to the building and those walking on the busy sidewalk downtown. The video wall serves as bridge between the clean lines and elegant design of the building and the rugged, picturesque beauty that defines Idaho. Rafanelli and Nahas commissioned video artists to film high contrast, high impact nature scenes all around the state to make viewers feel as if they are standing among mountain peaks, walking through a grove of aspens, or wading through a shallow stream.

“This wall is more than a video display, it is a work of art,” said Scott Schoenherr, Partner at Rafanelli and Nahas Management Corporation. “Not only has this technology from Sharp/ NEC met our needs in terms of size, image clarity, hardware quality and energy usage, it has also helped us meet our vision for what is possible and to stand apart from other building in the region.”