Take an iconic Art Deco office tower in Boston’s business district and add an interactive 100 feet first-of-its-kind digital media band — you have the ingredients for a dynamic art experience that makes a powerful statement about the building, engages visitors and attracts high-profile tenants.
The Boston Media Band at 110 High Street provides a fun digital canvas for digital artists to create on. The 100-foot band offers almost 600 square feet of media displays with three digital art modes and capability to interact with visitors in the lobby.
It’s large enough to have an impact from outside the building with 100 feet of digital whimsy that makes a corporate lobby stand out to the world outside — and it activates the lobby, plaza, and surrounding streetscape with movement and personality.
The Boston Media Band is programmed with three digital art modes powered by Unreal Engine, the gaming engine behind games like Fortnite and Playstation. The game engine reacts to visitors in the lobby or passers-by on the sidewalk in a variety of fun and interactive ways.
In Silhouette Mode, a parade of silhouetted people stroll down the media band, waving, dancing, and reacting to passers-by with surprisingly reality. Motion capture animation for the silhouettes creates a highly realistic set of characters that behave just like real people. The figures change in quantity and pace as people enter and leave the building, reflecting the flow of building users during commute times. Their clothing changes depending on the weather and they put on sports gear when the Boston Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins or Celtics play.
In Bay Mode, an underwater vista fills the screens with images of fish from local waters that gather around visitors in front of the band. Whales and seals occasionally appear and if people linger, a jellyfish might come into view. There are three different aquatic environments, supported by dynamic lighting that changes throughout the day. Game engine artificial intelligence drives the characters in fish mode, ensuring that the fish behave in a realistic way.
In Building ID Mode, property managers can customize messaging to showcase the building’s brand and publish customized tenant messaging.
For pedestrians, visitors and tenants, the Boston Media Band uses dynamic, interactive digital art to extend the experience of the building into the street and bring the energy of the city into the building. Through reactive behaviors and whimsical, unexpected moments, the Boston Media Band activates the lobby, plaza, and surrounding streetscape with movement and personality, creating a lively, memorable experience for everyone who enters and passes by the building.
The bespoke display surface is precisely integrated into the architecture, while its content, powered by game engines, is always fresh, reflecting the human pulse of the space.
The digital media band was an integral part of LaSalle Investment’s multi-faceted capital enhancement plan for 110 High Street. The goal was to transform this iconic building’s new entrance into a unique experience that would attract high-profile tenants from the technology sector.
The concept was to have a visually impressive attraction starting outside the building and continuing through a glass wall, around the lobby wrapping in and out and down the elevator banks. The installation begins around the exterior corner of the building and moves inside to blur the lines between indoors and outdoors. Architectural lighting to activate the façade and interior at night can be dynamically programmed to use colors appropriate for special events.
The lobby experience also has an immersive interactive aspect, enabling the content to react and interact with people in the general vicinity of the media band. Sensors installed in the ceiling provide two zones of interaction. The first zone is reactive, measuring traffic through the space and changing the pace of the graphics. Another zone enables users to interact directly with the media band.
The animations are driven by LIDAR sensors (Light Detection and Ranging Sensor) to generate real-time changes to content. Graphics are generated in Unreal Engine, a real-time rendering platform typically used for gaming.
Electrosonic collaborated with designers, fabricators and engineers throughout the project to integrate the media band with the architecture and solve the technical challenges. Custom glass installation softens and enhances LED images without losing detail. The media band had to be housed in a structure that would tolerate outdoor elements while seamlessly integrating with the building’s design. It had to incorporate motion sensing to support interaction together with custom installation to create a visually impressive projection surface that would optimize the LED images.
The Boston Media Band centers on the flow of the city and responds to the presence of people with moments of surprise and delight. By breaking the barrier between inside and outside, the installation broadcasts the building’s new identity to the street and draws people in.
The result aligns with Electrosonic’s commitment to bringing memorable and unique experiences to corporate spaces, helping commercial property owners create digital art installations like the Boston Media Band to enhance the environment of the building and attract and retain tenants.
As Dave Martel, Executive Managing Director of real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank commented, “Lobbies today aren’t just a place to walk through to get upstairs. They’re a place to make a statement.”
One of the buildings new tenants Jill Larsen, Head of Human Resources, Medidata, agreed, “For us, it’s really a great branding opportunity. There’s lots of foot traffic and car traffic. If we’re doing events, it will allow us to be seen.“
The Boston Media Band is the first and largest of its kind in the city and has transformed the building’s entrance and lobby into a unique experience that helped the owners bring occupancy to 100 percent following the renovation.
110 High Street's Digital Media Band
Best Dynamic Art Experience