Two Lobby Renovations by ESI Design

31. October 2016

Terrell Place

2016
Washington, DC

Client
Beacon Capital Partners

ESI Design
New York, NY

ESI Design Team
Principal Designer - Edwin Schlossberg
Design Lead – Michael Schneider, Maria Barsa
Art Direction – Jonathan Grimm, Angela Greene
Account Director – Kris Haberman
Project Manager – Elinore Aladjem, Greg Gallimore
Project Coordinator – Anna Martin
Production Manager – Trip Kyle, Sarah Frankel
Physical Designer – Maria Barsa, Eli Rosenwasser, Hyan Kyu Han
Systems Designer – Michael Schneider
Technology/Media Designer – Ting Feng, Yuri Sunahara, Dimelsa Medina
Visual Designer – Laura Gunther, Jonathan Grimm
Content Designer – Debra Everett-Lane
Animation – Tony Briggs
Media Production Manager – Caroline Bevan, Kristen Svorka
Interaction Designer – Lauren Gibbons

Partners
Building Architect – Gensler
Fabricator – Art Display
Systems Integration and Design – Diversified
Sound Design – Bruce Odland
Furniture Design – Ernest de la Torre
Software and Media – AV&C
General Contractor – HITT
Engineers – GHT


575 Fifth Avenue
2016
New York, NY

Client
Beacon Capital Partners

ESI Design
New York, NY

ESI Design Team
Principal Designer - Edwin Schlossberg
Design Lead – Michael Schneider
Art Direction – Angela Greene
Account Director – Kris Haberman
Project Manager – Presston Brown, Greg Gallimore
Project Coordinator – Sarah Frankel
Production Manager – Morgen Fleisig
Physical Designer – Leonor Montes de Oca
Systems Designer – Michael Schneider, Laura Wickesberg
Technology/Media Designer – Ting Feng
Visual Designer – Chris Griggs, Angela Greene, Baldur Helgason
Content Designer – Stuart Fox
Data Visualization – Dimelsa Medina

Partners
Building Architect – HOK
General Contractor – Structurestone
Systems Integration – Diversified
Financial Data Provider – Xignite
Software – AV&C
Lighting Advisors - upLIGHT

Lobby Area
2,350 sf
New York's ESI Design is responsible for two office lobby renovations carried out this year for Beacon Capital Partners: Terrell Place in Washington, DC, and 575 Fifth in Midtown Manhattan. Each lobby incorporates LED screens to add some movement and color to the spaces and lift the spirits of those passing through them on a daily basis. World-Architects spoke with Michael Schneider, a senior designer on ESI's Creative Technology team, about the projects.
Terrell Place - The lobby sits behind the large storefront windows of a former department store.
Terrell Place
 
Terrell Place underwent a huge transformation about a dozen years ago, which consisted of the transformation of the former Hecht’s department store and a number of adjacent buildings in DC’s Penn Quarter into a mixed-use complex. ESI Design was responsible for the recent renovation of the office lobby that sits behind Hecht's old storefront windows on 7th Street NW. Here they installed a 1,700-square-foot media display that strove to capture the flow of time and people through ever-changing, interactive images.
Terrell Place - The largest segment of the screen stretches 80 feet wide across the three portals: an entrance to a private office on the left, an elevator bank in the middle, and a corridor at right.
Learning from their experience on the Dream Cube project at Shanghai World Expo in 2010, Schneider and his colleagues opted for an installation that provides a three-dimensional effect. To achieve this, a surface of medium-resolution LEDs sits 2” behind a seamless, rear-projection vinyl surface that is pulled taut. As Schneider described it to me, white and other light colors are displayed on the surface but the dark colors stay back to create the subtle 3-D effect. Further, the vinyl screen diffuses the light so people do not perceive the individual LED dots.
Terrell Place - L: Before of corridor; R: After of elevator bay
With such a large media display, the content of the moving images is important. Three scenes were selected, two of which relate directly to the DC context. First is cherry blossoms, the trees that lure people to the city in the spring. Over the course of a day, they change from buds to blossoms and falling flowers blowing in the wind. Second are iconic architectural monuments of DC. Third is "Color Play," a dynamic, generative particle system with colors that shift over the course of the day. Each scene remains on display for a day, so there are subtle changes in the images but no jarring shifts that would result if moving from one scene to another.
Terrell Place - The media display continues into the corridor that connects the buildings, where a sound installation conveys the history of civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell, for whom the building is named.
Although a huge media wall with 3-D moving images is impressive, the most interesting part of ESI's design is its interactivity. Twenty infrared heat-sensing cameras are located in the lobby and corridors to pick up on the movement of people in space. Color Play, as is evident in the video below, eddies and flows based on where people move and where they stand. With each scene affected by movement and changing over the course of a day, the comings and goings of people over that time is evident in the images. Just as in life, no day is the same as another.

575 Fifth - The building has a Fifth Avenue address, but the lobby is located on 47th Street.
575 Fifth

Completed last month, this project is the renovation of the lobby of 575 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The office building was previously the headquarters of L'Oreal, which moved recently to the large Hudson Yards development. This move left 80 percent of the building empty, so Beacon Capital called on ESI Design for branding, singage, and the transformation of the lobby, all toward filling the vacant office space with boutique financial and other higher-scale tenants.
575 Fifth - ESI designed a logo that is cut, echoing the "cut" of the lobby walls where the media band is inserted.
In our conversation, Schneider described the area outside the lobby as "chaotic." As a means of capturing that vitality but also controlling  it to some degree, he conceptualized the lobby as sliced in half and lifted about two feet to provide views of the area in the gap. This band, which stretches across the walls but also wraps each column, is filled with an LED media canvas that provide unexpected views of the neighborhood.
575 Fifth - Before and After
ESI Design worked with photographers to create a number of time-lapses for the media canvas. They went up to the roof of 575 Fifth and took two types of shots: one looking across the middle of buildings (not just at the skyline), and one looking down onto the street, done in super-slow motion. Like Terrell Place, these images ebb and flow over the course of the day. For instance, informational content (S&P Dow Jones graphs, New York Times and Wall Street Journal headlines) are drawn during the rushes in the morning, evening, and at lunch. On my mid-morning visit, the display was ethereal, meditative: sky, clouds, and the spire of the Empire State Building on the rear wall.
575 Fifth
Schneider described their design of the lobby as a "cohesive surface," so the LED media band, lighting, and marble work together. The downlights and cover lights give the space enough brightness to be close to even with the media band. The designers did not want the LEDs to appear bright against a dark background. Further, the cove lights that wash down the walls draw attention to the marble surfaces. The selected marble was cut into a serrated profile with the ridges pointing up, such that the wall wash makes the stone glow. It's an effect that is hard to catch in photos, but is noticeable in person. It's also a detail that, like the media band, should maintain the interest of the people who have to pass through the lobby five days a week.
575 Fifth - Images of the Midtown skyline are included but so are the midsections of the area's buildings.

Terrell Place

2016
Washington, DC

Client
Beacon Capital Partners

ESI Design
New York, NY

ESI Design Team
Principal Designer - Edwin Schlossberg
Design Lead – Michael Schneider, Maria Barsa
Art Direction – Jonathan Grimm, Angela Greene
Account Director – Kris Haberman
Project Manager – Elinore Aladjem, Greg Gallimore
Project Coordinator – Anna Martin
Production Manager – Trip Kyle, Sarah Frankel
Physical Designer – Maria Barsa, Eli Rosenwasser, Hyan Kyu Han
Systems Designer – Michael Schneider
Technology/Media Designer – Ting Feng, Yuri Sunahara, Dimelsa Medina
Visual Designer – Laura Gunther, Jonathan Grimm
Content Designer – Debra Everett-Lane
Animation – Tony Briggs
Media Production Manager – Caroline Bevan, Kristen Svorka
Interaction Designer – Lauren Gibbons

Partners
Building Architect – Gensler
Fabricator – Art Display
Systems Integration and Design – Diversified
Sound Design – Bruce Odland
Furniture Design – Ernest de la Torre
Software and Media – AV&C
General Contractor – HITT
Engineers – GHT


575 Fifth Avenue
2016
New York, NY

Client
Beacon Capital Partners

ESI Design
New York, NY

ESI Design Team
Principal Designer - Edwin Schlossberg
Design Lead – Michael Schneider
Art Direction – Angela Greene
Account Director – Kris Haberman
Project Manager – Presston Brown, Greg Gallimore
Project Coordinator – Sarah Frankel
Production Manager – Morgen Fleisig
Physical Designer – Leonor Montes de Oca
Systems Designer – Michael Schneider, Laura Wickesberg
Technology/Media Designer – Ting Feng
Visual Designer – Chris Griggs, Angela Greene, Baldur Helgason
Content Designer – Stuart Fox
Data Visualization – Dimelsa Medina

Partners
Building Architect – HOK
General Contractor – Structurestone
Systems Integration – Diversified
Financial Data Provider – Xignite
Software – AV&C
Lighting Advisors - upLIGHT

Lobby Area
2,350 sf

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