Eaton Experience Center Digital Installation

Powering Up the Brand

Eaton Experience Center powers the brand with an architecturally integrated multimedia installation at its new Cleveland campus. The project was a 2014 SEGD Global Design Award winner. Have you powered up your entries for 2015?

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.

Designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates (New York), the installation consists of 12 3D animated illustrations, four 65-in. interactive multi-touch tables, an 80- by14-ft. LED curtain featuring abstract and natural landscapes and data visualizations, and a 53-ft. LED chandelier that complements the animations on the LED curtain. Electrosonic Inc. (Burbank, Calif.) consulted with RAA on the cutting-edge A/V technology and designed the AV systems, media control, and power management.

In the 16,250-sq.-ft. atrium, the transparent 80-ft.-long by 14-ft.-tall LED curtain is the canvas for messaging, abstract and natural landscapes, and data visualizations. Overhead in the center of the atrium, the five-story,12-ft.-diameter cylindrical LED chandelier echoes the immersive animations on the curtain.

Displaying content created by RAA, the chandelier serves as a giant art installation as well as a source of illumination. The LED mesh combines a woven stainless steel mesh grid with individually-addressable LEDs to form a canvas for vivid, large-scale media, says Bryan Vogel, Electrosonic’s project manager. The chandelier can display specific media on a pre-determined timeline or media for a particular show via a show controller. Electrosonic tested the racks for weeks because of the complexity and delicacy of the system.

“The chandelier was two years in the making with the metal fabric built section by section on a rotisserie with jig,” notes Vogel.

Together, the curtain and chandelier create a space alive with media, yet playful in nature. The 80-foot curtain wall is also comprised of a woven grid with transparent LED nodes in a 62.5mm pitch. The nodes display a video signal sourced from the head-end AV equipment room.

“We wanted both the curtain and chandelier to be striking, elegant, and lightweight and transparent,” says Tim Ventimiglia, RAA’s project director and lead designer for the project. The transparency of the curtain preserves a sense of space and light between the elevators and the front glass entrance, which frames the landscaped grounds beyond. 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 emerging cultural shifts.

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Client:  Eaton

Location:  Cleveland, Ohio

Budget:  Confidential

Project Area:  700,00 sq. ft.

Open Date:  February 2013

Design:  Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Design Team:  Tim Ventimiglia (project director, lead designer); Walter Froetscher (project manager, senior designer); Darla Decker (writer, content developer); Heather Christian 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 (animator)

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

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 UK (AV Integration), Shenberger & Associates (structural engineering) Karpinski Engineering (electrical engineering)

Photos:  Chuck Choi

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