If you glanced at Past 5 Days on the Classic site recently, you noticed some pretty cool pictures of an interior project we completed this spring for Comcast Xfinity.
Tyler Poage from Exhibits Northwest brought the project to us last summer. The scope was to create a new flagship store in Portland showcasing Comcast’s Xfinity services in a series of vignettes. In addition, the design included workspaces for employees where they could work with customers to setup new service, make changes to existing service, or even assist them with billing issues.
Classic and Exhibits Northwest were not the only folks working on the project. We designed and built the vignettes and the workstations while a local architectural firm and general contractor worked on the building space.
At the start and throughout the project, Exhibits Northwest employed Michael Silva from MSILVA Design to design the retail interior. We’ve worked with Michael before, and he never disappoints. He had a pretty clear set of client goals, one of which was to use similar materials from Comcast’s corporate headquarters.
Classic was brought in to build it as modular sections. It proved to be challenging, but not insurmountable as you can see from the pictures of the final product. The basic goals were to create vignettes that allowed ease of access for wiring and potential redesign of walls in the future.
The main structural walls were ClassicMODUL aluminum extrusion, using the same Q 914 you’ve seen in Classic island and inline hybrid kits for years. These allowed for a wall structure where we could clad each vignette in laminated Sintra panels to individualize each setting. The aluminum profiles also provided a strong enough internal structure to hang multiple monitors, cabinets, ceilings, etc., while leaving enough space internally for wiring. In addition, using ClassicMODUL permitted us to minimize the ceiling drops. The entire double-sided wall structure consists of only two drops.
Each vignette is unique. They included a kitchen, bus stop, dorm room, and home theater. You can really see where the subcontractors, the contractor, Exhibits NW and the client worked together to create attractive and realistic spaces. These settings demonstrated how Xfinity products are used for PCs or Macs, iPhones or iPads, or various sizes of LCD’s or plasma televisions.
One great design element of the main wall structure was its ability to be scaled down for smaller retail locations. The setting shows off all the vignettes available, but for smaller retail locations, Comcast could choose to build a smaller wall that shows just four vignettes.
The workstations are a more familiar, or at least more typical of trade show design. The difference was that these needed to be constructed for employees who would be working with customers seven days a week. These were permanent builds. They had to withstand daily use and continue to look new for years.
The bases are a great example. The base cabinets are one of my favorite elements of the project. They are some of the nicest pieces I have seen come out of our shop. Nothing like the makeshift furniture found at the mass market office product store.
This was tricky and a learning process for us. I have to tip my hat to the general contractor. They came with a detail task list and followed it. Did it change a lot . . . yes! 🙂 . But they kept track of every change and held to the dates as best as they could.
The retail installation world is something that Classic Exhibits and ClassicMODUL have been involved in before but usually as a part or a component, not necessarily as the whole project. This was an interesting view into what contractors and architects deal with every day. We gained tremendous insight on how to manage future projects, including some that we are currently working on.
I hope you enjoy the pictures of the project and let me know what you think. I look forward to sharing photos of other interior/retail projects we are currently working on.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Please take time to honor our veterans for the freedom they provide us all.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.