Located in north Dallas, Galleria Dallas welcomes more than 19 million shoppers annually to its 200 stores and restaurants, ice rink and award-winning Westin Galleria Hotel. Constructed in 1982, Galleria Dallas is North Texas’ largest mixed-use complex with 3.7 million square feet, including 1.8 million square feet devoted to retail inside its mall.
Simon Property Group, the largest shopping mall operator in America, manages Galleria Dallas. In late 2016, Simon decided it wanted to install a digital display above the Galleria Dallas Ice Skating Center, an attraction surrounded by shops and restaurants at the center of the Galleria Dallas mall.
The project would not be a typical display installation, however. First, the Galleria Dallas Ice Skating Center is covered by a glass roof. Hanging a 4,000-pound display on glass presented an immediate challenge. Also, Simon needed the display to be mobile. Each holiday season, the Galleria Dallas installs an enormous 95 foot Christmas tree in the center of its ice rink. To hang a digital display above the rink, Simon required that the display could be easily moved to make way for the Christmas tree during the holiday season.
Luckily, Gable was equipped for the challenge. Simon engaged Gable in late 2016 to take on the project, relying on Gable’s ability to provide high-quality LED solutions and create distinctive and functional architectural solutions.
After it was first contacted about the job in late 2016, Gable began working with Simon in early 2017 to create a solution for Galleria Dallas.
Gable’s design and engineering teams soon pulled off what Stephen Gottlich, Gable’s digital visionary and SVP of Digital and Strategic Alliances, called a “major engineering feat.”
Gable conceptualized a solution for Simon that would hang a high-resolution, double-sided 4.8mm LED screen from the glass roof above the Galleria Dallas Ice Skating Center. The plan entailed reinforcing the steel structure on the glass roof to hang the LED screen, which measures 18 feet high by 12.8 feet wide. Gable also designed the structure hanging the screen to allow the screen to rotate 359 degrees. Finally, Gable designed a specialized, motorized track to allow Simon to move the display 50 feet away from the rink during the holiday season, when Simon brings in its Christmas tree for the holiday season.
Over three nights in April 2017, Gable installed and activated the LED display. Gable’s digital technology professionals also connected the display to a full AV system that allows Simon to monitor the screen with two remote cameras. The AV system also allows Simon to easily program content to the screen, including movies and other live video.
The new LED display above the Ice Skating Center at Galleria Dallas greatly elevates the consumer experience at a property considered the premier shopping destination in Dallas, the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States.
But Gable’s work extended beyond conceptualizing, fabricating and activating premium advertising space. Angie Freed, General Manager for Simon Properties at Galleria Dallas, noted the Gable team’s ability to meet the shopping center’s unique requirements for the display installation:
“Galleria Dallas and its iconic ice skating center host the country’s tallest indoor Christmas tree each year, and right in the center of the ice. When the idea of a digital screen was first brought up for the center of the ice, this was obviously in conflict with Galleria Dallas’ heritage of hosting a customer-favorite 95′ Christmas tree,” Freed explained. “The team at Gable creatively attacked the challenge and engineered a one-of-a-kind screen built on a track. The track allows the screen to move during months when the Christmas tree is present. The screen itself is beautiful, dynamic, captures the attention of Galleria’s many customers and with the custom-built track, allows those customers to still enjoy their holiday traditions at Galleria Dallas. This is a win-win-win for everyone!”