More than a product showroom, the Marvin Windows & Doors experience center in Boston elevates windows and doors from lowly building supplies to works of art. Since opening late last year, more than 1,200 consumers and pros have toured the facility.

Courtesy Marvin Windows & Doors

Dubbed the Marvin at 7 Tide building, the high-tech 3,500-square-foot space near the Boston Design Center is a cross between a retail store and a manufacturer's showroom.

"The space feels like a museum gallery combined with the warmth and comfort of a home," says Marvin at 7 Tide brand representative Barbara Bradlee. "From our wall of yellow felt roses, a key element from the Marvin logo, to a deconstructed window mobile hanging in the entry way illustrating Marvin's detailed craftsmanship, visitors are immersed in a new way to think about windows and doors."

The facility's meeting spaces are designed to feel like a formal dining room and living room, complete with exterior windows and doors to spark conversations and ideas.

"From the time a visitor makes an appointment online or arrives as a walk-in guest," says Bradlee, "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."

As visitors move through the space, they encounter several distinct digital experiences:

• A 3-D Home Gallery showcases 3-D printed miniatures of home designs submitted to the Marvin Architect's Challenge. Above the gallery, real-time photo renderings of the 3-D 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 proprietary Product to Scale Projector brings the brainstorming session to life. As the Marvin Brand Representative guides the conversation about how a bank of three windows in one style looks, you see it appear on the wall exactly as it would be in a home. Too tall? The wall projection changes instantly to inform the conversation and when you are happy with the result, you can save your favorites to your project notebook.

• At a Smart Touch Table, visitors can 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.

"For more than a century, many have seen windows and doors as building supplies," says Keenan Burns, COO of A.W. Hastings & Co., distributor of Marvin products in New England and eastern New York. "This makes it challenging to differentiate in a sea of manufacturers and show the value proposition of a superior product. We wanted to change the game."