ESI Design has transformed the entrance of 1 North Dearborn - a iconic Chicago office building - with a large-scale digital art installation. The centerpiece of the revived facade is a large-scale infinity effect digital light-art installation that spans across 72 feet of street-level windows.
Built in 1905, 1 North Dearborn was the home of The Boston Store in the 1940s, and most recently served as home to Sears's flagship store from 2001 to 2014. The huge department store windows now glow with 52 different light animations, creating a striking impression and welcoming entrance.
To create a dynamic entry experience that makes the building stand out in the busy neighborhood, the nearly 30,000 LED lights are programmed in different modes to reflect the ebb and flow of activity in the building. In one of six animation modes, silhouettes in the shape of people pulse toward the entry, while in the evening the silhouettes appear to move away, following people as they depart. The window installation also acts as a clock, marking time on the hour with special lighting effects. A bold new red canopy featuring a new 1 North Dearborn logo designed by ESI Design, frames and draws attention to the eye-catching animated windows.
"Playing off the building's past as a bustling department store, we wanted to create a bright and illuminating entrance for 1 North Dearborn turning the building into a focal point and creating a entry experience that wows," explained Emily Webster, Senior Designer and AV Technologist at ESI Design. "The interesting elements of this design are the lines of light and the infinite mirror effect. We created this endless look using LEDs and mirrored film with a gold tint. We then layered playful patterns and animations in a range of styles from subtle and ambient to more lively. They all work together to activate the façade of 1 North Dearborn and create visual interest."
Photography: Caleb Tkach