See How An LED Facade And Canopy Draws Passing Eyes Into San Francisco Building Block

December 16, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Lots of commercial property owners have started using LED displays as a way to add experiential elements to their building lobbies or other key areas, as a way to attract and retain tenants. The owners of an office block in central San Francisco had a different twist to its use, creating a 126-foot long display that extends from street front and into the building lobby.

The result, the owners say, is a hard-to-miss visual presence in a building that went up in 1974 and looked it.

Owners Beacon Capital Partners wanted to update 221 Main Street, and establish the building as an anchor in the growing business district. ESI Design, now owned by NBBJ, created a 126 foot-long, 25-foot wide, digital display. “This integrated element renews the building with a modern design while complimenting its angular form,” says ESI in a project brief. “The artistic installation blends three different LED resolutions into a single display. Etched diffusion glass mounted atop the LEDs spreads the light across the entire surface, creating a seamless image.”

ESI also produced original creative “that reflects the building’s surroundings and reinforces 221 Main’s place within the neighborhood, city and state. The media is designed to be experienced from many viewpoints, from the street into the lobby. The entire display is both a medium for content, a lighting surface and a dynamic new addition to the building.

The creative includes local scenes, including small waves rolling in at a beach.

The display tech is from DetaiLED Solutions.

ESI always does a nice job with buildings and often uses these diffusion layers, which create interesting, softened visual effects, but also reduce the capital cost hit, by using less expensive LED arrays with wider pixel pitches.

I quite like how this draws the eye at the street and visually pulls people into the entrance. Very nice. Here’s a video

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