515 North State Street
How do you transform an office lobby into a contemporary art space?
515 N. State St. features bold, angular architecture and a striking lobby, but lacked the kind of warmth and intimacy that attract tenants. Beacon Capital Partners tasked ESI Design with creating a more lively, contemporary setting that would bring in a more diverse tenant base, including tech start-ups and media companies.
ESI re-imagined the lobby as a contemporary art space, the centerpiece of which is a 23-foot-tall LED display. The screen functions as a media artwork playing artful videos of daily life in the surrounding River North neighborhood. A software system “paints” the videos in an Impressionist style; as the colors of one scene merge into another, new compositions are made.
The five content modes were inspired by the vibrant neighborhood’s constant movement: traffic and trains, bridges and and rivers, people, green space and sky. Because the scenes are created algorithmically, there are over 5,000 possible abstract compositions that can be generated.
In the elevator bays, transparent LCD screens provide up-to-the-minute local information, such as weather forecasts, trending Twitter topics, and transit alerts.
The media is complemented with sculptural furniture made up of red, ‘pixel-like’ modules that play off the building’s geometry and adds to the artistic feel of the space.
From the outside, a new ID announces the building as a modern property and gives it a clear front door. The LED wall is visible through the glass facade, mirroring the energy of the city and engaging passersby.