Eaton Experience Center

Merit Award 2014

Eaton Experience Center is a large-scale immersive multimedia installation integrated into the main atrium space of the Eaton Center in Cleveland, Ohio. It was created to help communicate Eaton's values and strengths to employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, media, and government and civic leaders and to provide a communal space for employee and talent acquisition events.

Visitors enter the building via the Entry Gallery. Along one wall of this curved, day-lit walkway is a 140-foot-long lenticular graphic mural that subtly animates the space as people pass by, offering an artistic view of the breadth and depth of Eaton solutions while providing inspirational messages about how Eaton solutions benefit people every day.

From the Entry Gallery, visitors enter an expansive five-story-high, 16,250-square-foot, light-filled atrium. Spanning the space between the main entrance and the elevator bank of the central tower is a transparent 80- by 14-foot LED curtain that features messaging, abstract and natural landscapes, and data visualizations. In the center of the atrium, a brilliant 53-foot LED chandelier activates the space by echoing the immersive animations of the curtain. The curtain and chandelier create a space alive with media, yet playful in nature.

Both the curtain and chandelier are strikingly elegant, lightweight, precision-engineered tensile structures that support an open-weave mesh of LEDs. The transparency of the curtain preserves the sense of space and light between the elevators and the front glass entrance, which frames the landscaped grounds beyond. The media on both of these elements accentuates individual surfaces while also using a natural synchronicity between the verticality of the chandelier and the long horizon line of the curtain. The provocative information on the LED curtain attracts visitors to four touchscreen media tables where they can explore deeper levels of information about global megatrends and the cultural shifts we will soon experience.

Centered on the floor under the chandelier is a giant inlaid stone map of the world, visible from the four balconies. Just above the map, and in contrast to the ever-changing nature of the media experience, Eaton's enduring values—"Customers, Trust, Respect, Dignity, Integrity and People"—are permanently integrated into the front surface of the lowest atrium balcony in large-scale stainless steel letters. The positioning of Eaton’s values above the floor map symbolizes that the values are shared by Eaton employees worldwide.

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Jury Comments: 

“The digital, typographical animations for chandeliers and curtain are playful and use the huge space in an effective way. Graphics integrate with forms of lighting. Creates a beautiful focal point that is also functional."

Design Firm: 

Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Client: 

Eaton

Location City: 

Cleveland

Project Area: 

700,00 sq. ft. (21,000 sq. ft. atrium/entry)

Open Date: 

February 2013

Project Budget: 

N/A

Photo Credits: 

Chuck Choi

Design Team: 

Design:  Tim Ventimiglia (project director, lead designer); Walter Froetscher (project manager, senior designer); Darla Decker (writer, content developer); Heather Christensen Smith (content coordinator); Katherine Kline (exhibition designer); Mia Beurskens, Robert Homack, Michael Schnepf (graphic designers)

Production:  Alex Vlack (executive media producer); Lilly Preston (media producer); Nina Boesch (interactive designer); Carlin Wragg (project coordinator); Michael Neault (producer); Alex Nguyen (senior developer); Andrew Papa, Jamie Boud (animators)

Consultants: 

Pickard Chilton Architects (lead architects), KA Architecture and Design (architects of record), A.M. Higley Company (general contractor), Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design, Inc. (lighting design), Electrosonic Inc. (AV Integration), Shenberger & Associates (structural engineering), Karpinski Engineering (electrical engineering), SH Acoustics (acoustic, audio design)

Fabricators: 

Electrosonic Inc. (AV system design, media control, power management), Traxon Industries (LED mesh), Engineered Products (steel fabrication), Creative Edge (inlaid stone floor), Softmotion 3D (lenticular graphics)

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