ESI Design Transforms Washington, D.C., Lobby with Interactive Installation

LED displays along the walls and corridor portals of the first-floor lobby of Terrell Place. Photography: ©

Featuring an interactive canvas of motion-triggered media panels, the lobby of the Terrell Place office building in downtown Washington, D.C., has been reimagined by ESI Design. The New York–based experiential design firm, led by Edwin Schlossberg, installed approximately 1,700 square feet of diffused LED displays along the walls and corridor portals of the first-floor lobby.

Activated by passersby, the responsive displays mirror the daily tides of foot traffic. Each of the nine media walls depicts a varied selection of sequential scenes, including the cyclical passing of seasons, algorithmically generated arrays of morphing kaleidoscopic threads, and cityscapes of the District’s iconic architecture, statues, and infrastructure. All of the scenes are timed to adjust to the progression of the day. Within the main corridor, concealed speakers in the ceiling and walls project ambient sounds to accompany the display’s sinuous successions, further augmenting the experience.

“The different media create distinct rhythms to give Terrell Place a unique identity and strong street presence,” says Michael Schneider, senior creative technology designer at ESI Design. “Each of the media scenes reflects the time of day and the movement of people through the lobby, acting almost as a large abstract data-visualization of the ebb and flow of Terrell Place.”

The floor-to-ceiling panels of motion-activated media foster an immersive, enveloping environment, recasting the lobby as a contemporary and invigorated interior that is in tune with its inhabitants.