Interactive Office Lobby Invites Nature Indoors Through Visualized Data
The building interior features 85-foot LED columns to display natural occurrences from the local area
Deconstructivist architect Philip Johnson saw the completion of his building The Wells Fargo Center in Denver in 1983. The building owners, Beacon Capital Partners, sought to reinvigorate the building’s interiors with a contemporary energy. To do this, they hired experience design firm ESI Design to think about how to go about incorporating digital technology to better connect the building to its locality in Colorado.
The experiential design firm teamed up Edwin Schlossberg, an artist who has been creating interactive art for museums and commercial spaces for decades. The end result is a dynamic, ever-changing, larger-than-life media installation that doubles as a highly localized experience.
Each panel displays content based on animation-generating algorithms reflecting Colorado experiences to lobby visitors in real time. This includes:
- Unique, unrepeatable shots of flocking birds
- Instagram-generated mosaics displaying the state’s world-famous mountainscapes
- Animations that convey four-day weather forecasts through visually
- Virtual waterfalls the take form based on current wind patterns
- A grove of trees that rustle baed on the season and time of day
The Denver Post comments on the building’s visual strategy and capturing cultural sentiment. The quote below provides context on why this dramatic revitalization project was so desperately needed for the building’s owners and how it is intended to preserve the prestige of the building and pride of the design community:
“Beacon went aggressive with the art, a daring move that serves well its goal of attracting new rental clients with a little first-floor flash, while recognizing that any old piece of corporate art wouldn’t do at such a revered site…. In doing so, Beacon kept a civic treasure safe from aesthetic ruin and gave us all something new to look at — you may know that as good corporate citizenship.”
Architectural interiors can find new energy by looking to their surrounding contexts; recognizing surrounding cultural cues, weather patterns or local materials can lead to great results. The Wells Fargo Center is an example of how technology can meet this end goal and become a part of the solution rather the solution itself.