With the goal to create communal spaces for the modern office tenant, Beacon Capital Partners, the property owner of Washington, D.C.’s trophy office building and civil rights landmark Terrell Place, has redesigned their lobbies with a selfie-approved and -encouraged visual experience that is on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Manhattan-based experiential design firm ESI Design was behind the renovation of the D.C. building.
The LED display was first revealed in July with images of blossoming cherry blossoms, fireworks, and Washington, D.C. architecture. Now, the display offers four fall and winter themes that transition throughout the day. Images include fall leaves slowly changing color, a close up of a wreath with sparkles, and frosted cherry blossom branches.
This visuals also respond to movement. When visitors pass by the LED screens, tree branches will bob or icicles will grow. At night, the LED screens automatically dim.
According to Michael Luck Schneider, senior designer and audio visual technologist of ESI Design, the LED screens are “relatively eco-friendly” when compared to the bank of elevators in the complex.
In the corridors that connect the three buildings that make up Terrell Place, the LED screens continue. There is also a calming, trance-like ambient music that is produced from different angles of the rooms. The sounds are meant to make sure that the pathways don’t sound so empty. Similarly to the LED screens, the volume of the music also responds to the number of people in the room. The music was created by sound artist Bruce Odland.
Additionally, in one of the elevator lobbies, there is now an LED screen that shifts between a Twitter cloud, weather forecasts, and an event feed with around 10 local institutions included.
Karen S. Gentry, managing director of Beacon Capital Partners, said that before the renovation, “Everybody was forced through the lobby. Nobody lingered.” With the addition of visuals as well as seating, the renovation has allowed tenants in the company to feel more inclined to congregate in the formerly staid communal spaces.
All of these renovations were part of the first phase of a two-phase, $20 million renovation. The first phase involved redesigning the lobby, elevator cabs, and garage lobbies.
The second phase of the renovation is expected to begin in April 2017 with plans for a dynamic rooftop deck on the eight floor of the building. Delivery is slated by the end of 2017.
Before the renovation, the lobby was filled with artifacts from Mary Church Terrell, a civil rights activist and founding member of the NAACP who was refused service at the Hecht's lunch counter in the 1950s. Rather than have it so that her artifacts are only visible to tenants in the building, a statue of her was donated to the new National Museum of African American History & Culture, and the remaining artifacts were donated to Somerset Prep D.C. Public Charter School. [UPDATE: Informative panels were also placed on the exterior and interior of the building as well.]
To see the LED display in action, check out the video below.