Enfield, CT – A.W. Hastings, the exclusive representative of Marvin Windows and Doors in New England and Eastern New York, has been awarded the Dealer of the Year Award for “Excellence in Technology and Innovation” by Window & Door magazine and the Window & Door Dealers Alliance.
The national trade journal recognized A.W. Hastings, among an exclusive group of five forward-thinking industry leaders, at the annual celebration on September 13 in Las Vegas.
The honor highlighted Hastings’ innovative design of the nation’s first Marvin Window and Door Experience Center at 7 Tide in Boston.
“We designed Marvin at 7 Tide to change the way both the design trade and homeowners think about windows and doors,” said Keenan Burns, president of A.W. Hastings. “Our team partnered with very creative thinkers to design an unprecedented immersive experience that is both high-tech and high touch. We are extremely pleased that our efforts captured the attention of the national judges on Window & Door magazine’s editorial staff.”
Inside the 3,500sf facility, located at 7 Tide in Boston’s new Innovation District, visitors find a place where decision making can be accelerated using visualization tools, and where dedicated experts can walk them through those decisions with tangible examples of style and design. The space is unique, looking like neither a retail store nor a manufacturer’s showroom.
From a wall of yellow felt roses, celebrating a key element from the Marvin Windows and Doors logo, to a deconstructed window mobile hanging in the entryway illustrating Marvin’s detailed craftsmanship, visitors are immersed in a new way to think about windows and doors.
“From the time a visitor makes an appointment online or arrives as a walk-in guest,” said Miana Hoyt Dawson, director of marketing for A.W. Hastings, “we design a very personal experience for them. They are given a Marvin project notebook when they arrive, which allows them to digitally store and later retrieve any images or specifications that inspire them during their visit.
“We’re in the business of inspiring people and making their lives easier, so there’s no need to take notes or snap photos. We hope to spark important conversations that can be remembered later as they design their homes and then visit one of the authorized Marvin dealers throughout the region where they can purchase these products.”
As visitors move through the space, they encounter several distinct digital experiences:
- A Home Gallery showcases 3D printed miniatures of home designs submitted to the national Marvin Architect’s Challenge. Above the gallery, real-time photo renderings of the 3D model homes are projected on a screen, highlighting the extraordinary windows and doors that create the look and experience of the home. Should the visitor want to reference any of the photos later, tapping the Marvin project notebook on the screen will store that image.
- Inside the Marvin Living Room, a short-throw projector allows visitors to see endless photos of unique installations of windows and doors to get their creative juices flowing. Then comes the feature that really excites visitors: showing windows and doors in full scale and changing the sizes and shapes in real time as the homeowner reacts to having each in her home. If an 8-foot-high door doesn’t feel large enough when it is projected on the wall, immediately it is transformed into a 10-foot door. If a bank of three windows doesn’t feel right on the wall, with the click of a button the visitor sees four.
- In the Resource Pavilion, a Smart Touch Table allows visitors to actually build their own windows and doors. Through a special interface, visitors can see the window design appear on the table, change the interior color, the exterior cladding, the style, hardware and more, with each feature rendering instantly on the table surface. When the session is completed, touching the project notebook to the table saves all information and images. Approximately 30 minutes after the 7 Tide visit, all saved information is sent to the visitor via email.
“Our objective is to change the conversation about home design,” explained Hoyt Dawson. “We want to talk to homeowners and their architects during their early planning phase, with questions like, ‘How would you like to frame the view on your property? How will you achieve a seamless connection between your interior and outdoor living spaces to enhance your lifestyle? Or how does sunlight impact your well-being and how do we achieve the right amount of sun in your home?’ When you are talking about investing in personalized windows and doors, we’re no longer talking about simply buying pieces of wood and glass; we’re talking about achieving a lifestyle.”
This award, recognizing A.W. Hastings’ “Excellence in Technology and Innovation,” marks the second time in recent history that the family owned company has been recognized by industry leaders. In 2012, A.W. Hastings was honored with the top national award for “Overall Excellence: Leadership in the Professional Market.” At that time, it was said, “Throughout the window and door industry, there are a handful of companies that have truly defined their categories. A.W. Hastings & Co. is recognized for redefining their category. A New England-based company with more than 160 years under its belt, A.W. Hastings not only continues to redefine itself, but also sets the bar.” This second honor helps illustrate how Hastings continues to do that.