85 Broad Street, New York
How do you bring a 17th-century landmark into the 21st century?
When Beacon Capital Partners acquired 85 Broad Street in 2014, the building hadn’t undergone a substantial renovation since its construction more than 30 years prior. Beacon hired ESI Design to do an experiential design-driven corporate lobby renovation that would make the property more enticing to media and technology tenants.
Through the middle of the lobby runs a curved corridor that replicates the former route of colonial-era Stone Street. The cobblestone-like path, which cannot be altered due to city regulation, provided an unusual and complex design challenge for the ESI team. Our multi-disciplinary team seamlessly incorporated the architecture of the building with digital media, software-driven lighting, wayfinding graphics, and physical design elements to tell the story of 85 Broad in a vibrant new way.
ESI brightened the dark corridor by installing light bars that function as a custom low-resolution video ceiling displaying subtle lighting patterns. One animation shows sky and clouds, as if the corridor were open to the air like it was when it was a street.
In the entryways, seven expansive relief maps of Manhattan cover the walls, putting 85 Broad’s unique and historic location into the larger context of the city. Sculptural chandeliers echo the light bars that run down the corridor.
At the end of each elevator bay, transparent LCD screens, mounted over the historic relief maps, mix opacity and clarity, alternatively obscuring and revealing the details of the maps underneath. The screens display real-time content such as local weather, traffic and social media trends useful for visitors.
The building’s two exterior entrances are illuminated with oversize LED arches that announce and draw pedestrians down the path of old Stone Street. The Broad Street arch is dynamic, featuring geometric animations, map imagery and generative text patterns that relate to the custom media inside.
A light installation spiraling through the building’s exterior arcade features light bars and reflective blades that alternate and twist, adding dynamism and “wow” factor to the exterior of the building.
In ESI’s design for 85 Broad Street, the past, present and future of New York City come together. After this corporate lobby renovation was complete, Beacon signed over 400,000 square feet of leases at 85 Broad, increasing the building to 90% leased.