The Hub Media Experience: Designed for Creative Communities
Posted February 27, 2020
In Denver’s River North Arts District (RiNo), The Hub complex is poised to set the trend for future commercial development in the area. To establish an authentic connection to the neighborhood, Beacon Capital Partners worked with project architects at Gensler to develop a sweeping art program that commissioned new street art and mural works from local artists. Beacon then called upon ESI Design to pay homage to the artistic vibrancy and industrial heritage of RiNo through placemaking and branding for the property, including The Hub Media Experience.
“RiNo is young, energetic, creative, fun, and it’s going to be an advantage for us in terms of attracting the best talent,” says Paul Zeckser, SVP Consumer Product for Home Advisor, a tenant of The Hub. “I think it’s going to be the place that inspires us when we walk around the neighborhood to come back and work and have a lot of fun while we do it.“
The Hub Media Experience is a trio of digital displays which greet tenants and visitors in the lobby of the building. These visuals seem at times to be still images, but they mesmerize the viewer as they slowly come to life weaving footage of the Denver area into the artistic styles of local street artists.
Local Scenery Meets Local Style
The visuals displayed on The Hub Media Experience’s custom installation is inspired by the beauty of Denver. By juxtaposing natural scenery with man-made street art, the Hub’s dynamic media installation reinforces the building’s unique identity in the community.
In an homage to RiNo’s artful, industrial heritage, color and contrast are key themes that promote an active, contemporary atmosphere throughout the lobby areas, not limited to the media installation itself. Furniture created by local craftspeople and raw, exposed finishes are also drawn from RiNo’s industrial roots. The result is a cohesive, trendsetting and bold lobby experience that brings buzz to the surrounding area.
The creative lobby media experience reflects the type of tenants that Beacon Capital Partners hopes to bring into the building. The installation is “attracting people looking for inspiration,” according to Jamie Giellis, President of the RiNo Art District.
Technology behind The Hub Media Experience
Behind the scenes at The Hub, three LED monitors run a curated playlist of the software-generated content. To create the transformed visuals ESI Design used a neural style transfer algorithm. This code tracks features that make images unique, such as dominant colors and repeated shapes. Style transfer has most commonly been used for still images; ESI Design’s programming results in a customized algorithm compatible with both static and moving assets. This adaptation for video follows motion in the footage, a process called optical flow analysis, to generate unexpected organic patterns when the new style is applied.
Benefits of using style transfer software for a creative lobby media experience
Style Transfer allows for new visual properties to be applied to an image to change its appearance in new and exciting ways. Since the content that populates The Hub Media Experience is pre-programmed, the client can “set and forget” the installation. Custom content continuously appears on the screens in a playlist curated by ESI Design. The design team analyzed which images of nature paired best with each artistic style, allowing the digital experience design installation to operate on its own without the client having to take time to re-populate the display’s content.
The Hub Artist Zine
The Hub’s Artist Zine contains information on the murals featured in The Hub Media Experience, their creators, and a map to explore the rich history and vibrant present of RiNo. Download it here.
Inspired by the creativity and beauty of Denver, the imagery displayed on the building’s custom installation brings together local styles and local scenery in innovative explorations of texture and materiality that help put The Hub on the map.