With 1,700-square-feet of motion-activated LED displays, ESI designed an ever-evolving artwork that reacts to the presence of people and creates a sense of place.
Terrell Place in downtown Washington, D.C., is an office and retail complex that was made by combining three connected components, including the former Hecht's department store, resulting in a disjointed ground floor lobby. When Beacon Capital Partners acquired the property, they tasked ESI Design with creating a more harmonious interior.
ESI transformed the space by treating it as a single media canvas. The diffused LED displays in the lobbies and corridor are activated by passersby via an infrared camera system, creating beautiful scenes that ebb and flow with the morning rush and the afternoon lull. Three custom content modes— ‘Seasons,’ ‘Color Play,’ and ‘Cityscape’—are programmed with varying durations and sequences, ensuring that visitors never see the same scene twice. ‘Seasons’ shows the lifecycle of the iconic Washington, D.C. cherry trees, from spring blossoms to snow-covered branches.
The building was named after civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell, who led a protest against segregation at Hecht’s lunch counter in the 1950s. As part of the lobby renovation, ESI redesigned the memorial plaque to Terrell in the building, with information and photos about the famous protest, and also created a digital, interactive tablet that allows visitors to learn more about Terrell’s impact on the Civil Rights Movement.
In the main corridor, the immersive environment is enhanced by ambient sounds emerging from invisible speakers in the walls and ceiling, including music that Terrell cited as having been impactful in her life.
The project became an Internet sensation with 75+ million impressions and a must-see destination for locals and tourists alike.
Read ESI Design’s press release about Terrell Place.
Watch a longer video showing the Terrell Place lobby’s dynamic media canvas.
“The transformation of the lobby experience enhances this legendary building’s distinct sense of place and creatively engages our tenants and visitors.”
2,900 LEDs per square foot
5 million LEDs