Monday, September 3, 2012

Google opens its DNC home base. A Charlotte company is behind the design

Google's home for the Democratic Convention is located at the corner of Tryon and Third streets in uptown Charlotte. Photos by Sergio Tovar
By Sergio Tovar and Corey Inscoe

There was a lot of speculation when shipping crates started to go up on the parking lot on the corner of Third and Tryon streets in uptown Charlotte last week. Because of the familiar color scheme, Google was quickly speculated to be behind the structure.

Google ended the mystery Monday, when it opened the doors to its home during the Democratic National Convention. The facility offers free wifi to the public as well as plenty of sofas and chairs to sit and relax. The air-conditioned tent offers much-needed relief from Charlotte's heat and humidity. Google Bytes, a refreshment bar at the site, features soft drinks, iced coffee and other beverages.

A local company was behind the structure. Boxman Studios, started in Charlotte in 2008 by David Campbell, specializes in recycling shipping containers for hospitality, housing, mobile classrooms and other uses.

Boxman Studios built a structure for Google at the TED Conference in Long Beach, Calif., this spring. Campbell said he started talking with Google about creating a structure for the Democratic National Convention soon after.

Conversations continued through the summer and Boxman Studios finally got the green light to build the structure about a month before the DNC.

"It was a great opportunity for us to partner with them again," said Campbell. "They chose us to help them create the environment they were looking for."

Boxman Studios worked with production company MKG to design the structure, which Campbell said was one of the largest the company has done. The structure was then fabricated Boxman Studios' Charlotte warehouse.

"We always try to push ourselves and try to do something unique," he said.

Campbell said the company had to keep the project a secret for the last month and was happy to reveal it to the public Monday.

"With a partner like Google, you just hope that we can help make this week special for Charlotte and Google," said Campbell. "I think it's going to be an iconic place for people to gather." 

There were also several interactive displays at Google's tent as well as televisions showing coverage of the convention and a studio.

Google set up charging stations, but only for Android phones. Sorry, iPhone fans.

And you can also get a chance to see one of Google's self-driving cars outside the tent.

Google's uptown home will be open Monday until 6 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Google Bytes operates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. It will open Thursday at 10 a.m.

After the convention, Boxman Studios will break down the structure and take it back to its warehouse in Charlotte to be repurposed for future projects.


Anonymous said...

Curious if they did this at the RNC in Tampa as well.

Anonymous said...

Talked to some workers and they a similar setup was at rnc. Also you can have your iPhone charge at the concierge desk.

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