The Boston Media Band at 110 High Street

Located in Boston’s Financial District, 110 High Street is a landmark building with Art Deco style architecture. The owner, LaSalle Investment Management, engaged ESI Design to create a new identity and media experience for the building as part of brand repositioning and updates to the property. They wanted to create more presence on the street and announce the property to the surrounding neighborhood. ESI Design developed a new building logo and a large scale digital media band, integrated into the architecture of the building.

The 7 ft high by 84 ft wide digital installation starts at the building exterior, wraps a corner, then extends into the interior lobby. The screens feature a series of dynamic and interactive graphics that include figures of people, underwater life, and graphics inspired by the surrounding city. The installation activates the street and lobby, giving them more movement and personality.

The installation has three modes, each with unique digital content. The first is “Silhouette Mode”, with figures of people that stroll across the screens. The figures change in quantity and pace, reflecting the flow of building users during commute times. The people on the screen are playful and they react, wave, and dance. Their garments change depending on the weather. An occasional giraffe or moose makes an appearance in the crowd. The figures and content changes for holidays and events, such as Red Sox games and The Boston Marathon.

The second media mode is “Bay Mode”. An underwater vista fills the screens with animated schools of fish. Local species such as scup, bass, and cod gather around visitors in front of the band. Whales and seals occasionally appear and jellyfish float by. There are three different aquatic environments.

The last mode is the functional “Building ID/Tenant Message Mode”. Property management can customize messaging for this mode. A simulated cloth background adds visual interest while remaining neutral to avoid distracting from the building messaging.

Sensors installed in the ceiling provide two zones of interaction. The first zone is reactive and picks up on general foot traffic through the space, then changing the pace of the graphics at the  screens accordingly. Another zone enables users to interact more directly and intimately with the media display. For example, if you wave at a figure in the screen, they may wave back.

Animations are driven by LIDAR sensors (Light Detection and Ranging Sensor) to generate real-time changes to content. Administrators can change digital content through a CMS back-end. Graphics are generated in Unreal Engine, a real-time rendering platform typically used for gaming.

Project: The Boston Media Band at 110 High Street
Location: Boston, MA
Designer: ESI Design
Architect: Elkus Manfredi Architects
Fabricator: Dimensional Communications, Inc.
Systems Integration: Electrosonic
CMS & Sensor Software: AV&C
Software Development: Arbitrarily Good Productions
General Contractor: Turner Construction
Photography: CT (Caleb Tkach), LaSalle Investment Management


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