How Class-A Office Building in D.C. Metro Wows with Video Wall
Carlyle Overlook completes renovation with TouchSource display featuring art and transit schedules
Carlyle Overlook is a Class-A office development located next to Eisenhower Metro Station in Alexandria, Virginia. It sits across the Potomac River, a 10-minute commute from Washington, D.C. The building boasts 250,000 sq ft of office space, including 10 stories of office space and a four-level parking garage. The office portion is owned by The Pinkard Group, while another portion of the building is residential.
As part of a major renovation, the property installed a splashy TouchSource video wall featuring curated digital art and transit schedules, plus news and weather, in May 2021. Placed inside the building entrance, the display delivers a “wow” factor from the moment visitors enter, from the parking garage or the street.
TouchSource recently caught up with Megan Tompkins, Senior Project Designer at OTJ Architects, the architecture firm handling the renovation, to discuss the video wall addition.
TouchSource: What were the main reasons for adding the video wall?
Megan Tompkins: It was really two-fold: First, Carlyle Overlook had not yet been renovated since being built in 2008. There was vacant space on the first floor right off of the lobby to be designed as a shared tenant lounge and conference center. The Pinkard Group brought in OTJ Architects to reimagine the lobby entrance and first floor space to become attractive for office tenants, visitors and guests. Second, the owners wanted a replacement for the existing digital directory in the lobby that would impress visitors, but also do a better job at directing them. The old directory was so small and not at all eye-catching — in fact, it was generally unnoticed by visitors to the building. It offered few features and was not ADA compliant
TS: How does the video wall accomplish your goals for the building entrance?
MT: Overall, The Pinkard Group wanted the renovation to be beautiful and deliver a “wow” factor. The video wall directory was a big part of what they were looking for. It needed to be a solution that stands out, is simple to operate, and effective in sharing building information. The video wall we chose is large — if you’re a visitor, you can’t miss it. When visitors come in off the street or from the parking garage, they’re immediately welcomed by this stunning display. This was important because there’s no space or budget for a check-in receptionist.
The wall is mesmerizing — the art feature helps it go beyond just displaying who’s in the building and on what floor, and it does so beautifully. It features high-end curated art that changes each month, which is so much better than investing in one expensive piece of physical art. Some of the art chosen relates to the Washington, D.C. area, so that adds a nice local element.
TS: How did OTJ Architects select TouchSource for the project?
MT: We’ve worked with The Pinkard Group on a handful of other projects, and they entrust us with selecting the project vendors. We researched other signage providers, but TouchSource stood out. Compared to the other vendors I looked at, TouchSource was very responsive right away and upfront about costs, features, and the overall process. The team was deeply knowledgeable and transparent. The entire experience, from purchase to installation, was simple with minimal handoffs.
TS: What other features of the video wall do tenants and visitors enjoy?
MT: Showing metro transit schedules is a huge upgrade for tenants and guests, given the building’s proximity to Eisenhower Metro Station — a major hub. There are a lot of commuters from D.C. and other areas. It’s helpful to see the routes and times on one screen.
Another feature tenants love is the ability to use the video wall as a true welcome sign. On days when potential tenants are touring the building, or if any office tenants are hosting an event, the video wall displays the word “Welcome” and custom content specifically for that day. It’s a nice feature for welcoming guests.