When One Chase Manhattan Plaza, a landmark 60-story tower, was sold in 2013, the new owners renamed the property 28 Liberty and began a multi-million dollar renovation to change the former bank headquarters into a metropolitan centerpiece. The facility’s owner, Sun Glory, Ltd. was assisted by Gardiner Theobald, who served as owner’s representative.
The project team included Gensler’s New York office, who did the architectural design, Pentagram, who lead graphic design, and Technomedia, who designed, engineered, procured and installed the entire LED system.
Technomedia oversaw the development of the creative brief and the RFP selection process of the media design team, and selected digital content creation studio, Float4 to create, produce and manage the content pieces for the installations.
The upgrades included 200,000 feet of retail space, a 350,000 square-foot food court and a 10-screen movie theatre, as well as a 34-foot by 25-foot LED lobby display and LED ribbons in the retail area that showcase eye-catching visuals. The latter two enhancements were powered by a customizable content management system developed on the ISAAC platform by Miami based Smart Monkeys.
“The digital aesthetics at 28 Liberty reinvigorate the nearly 60-year old space. We produced an attraction in the building’s common areas, indirectly driving crowds and revenue to the owners and tenants,” said Float4 Founder and Creative Director Alexandre Simionescu. “By combining data driven content, refined visuals and a turnkey technological solution, the building is equipped with a 24/7 platform that informs, entertains and engages building occupants and guests.”
The renovation decisions at the building were centered around its reinvention from a corporate entity to a modern hub. The multi-purpose displays and captivating digital content act as a tool for distributing information about the building itself, local events and internal announcements. Regarding its aesthetic allure, the ground floor lobby display attracts attention from people on the sidewalk. These additions, along with other upgrades, make 28 Liberty an attractive base for tenants and passersby alike.
“The content capsules were created for three very different displays that share different portions of the space: the main lobby screen, the retail display which is on the floor right beneath the lobby and finally the adjacent ceiling ribbons that provide elegant accents,” Simionescu continued. “One of my favorite capsules is data driven and displays visuals depicting lower Manhattan and weather conditions that are sourced in real-time. It’s a great way to convey information elegantly. Interstitials, which we use as transitions between content capsules, were also created to echo the property’s iconic art pieces such as the Dubuffet Sculpture and Isamu Noguchi’s Rock Garden.
The “Plaza” LED system is installed over a five-story escalator bay, requiring the creative engineering and construction skills of Big Show Construction Management, who managed the installation for Technomedia. A pair of RealMotion servers are responsible for delivering the content, which interfaces with Smart Monkey’s ISAAC system to provide an extremely easy-to-use content management solution. Through this combination, the property managers can arrange daily schedules, add new content, and use templates to update content in real time.
“We developed the content management solution so the owners can benefit from a solution that combines performance with flexibility and reliability. Ultimately, the goal was to maximize the impact of the expansive lobby and retail space,” Simionescu said. “And we succeeded! People were immediately intrigued by the displays and the content. We even saw a few photos and videos of the lobby on social media from passersby. By presenting Float4’s creative content on large, bright digital displays, 28 Liberty has found a future-forward solution for enhancing its space, supporting its tenants, and creating a magnetic energy for people passing through.”