New interactive museum for the highest observation deck in the US
The revamped visitor experience, which is already rated a Top 10 destination by Tripadvisor, celebrates the unique personality, history, neighbourhoods and sites of Chicago. We worked with exhibition designers Thinc to deliver a range of digital media experiences to engage and inspire guests as they journey from the lower levels up to The Ledge on the 103rd floor. These installations create memorable moments with a variety of entry points for visitors into Chicago’s vibrant culture.
On the lower level, the “Architecture” section showcases a CGI tour of the city known for its skyline, ending at the iconic Willis Tower. Guests will then have the chance to pose next to floor-to-ceiling Tower antennas to capture the perfect social media shot. We used motion graphic animation, 3D animation, 3D models and VFX to create the immersive, large scale media experience that showcases the architectural breadth and diversity of Chicago.
From here, visitors take a hyper-real train trip through highlights of Chicago’s most distinctive neighbourhoods when they step into a recreated L train. This journey introduces guests to places they might not know about or have time to experience on their trip to Chicago. The view out of the digital windows displays a mixture of photography and CGI to bring Chicago’s unique city spots to life. Eight distinctive Chicago locations are broadcast, sweeping through the carriage.
The lower-level experience culminates with “Urban Playground,” leaving visitors with a lasting impression of what makes the energetic metropolis so extraordinary. This experience gives visitors a new lens to perceive and understand the geography of the city. Chicago highlights play out across a curved projection surface, looking at the city from this perspective builds anticipation for the elevator ride up to the Skydeck and the ultimate viewing experience.
On the 103rd floor, "Unseen Chicago" is a large six-screen array displaying an expansive map of Chicago. Visitors of the Skydeck gain a new perspective on the world around them as the map is augmented with animated layers of data unseen to the eye. "The Making of the Ledge," from inspiration to design, construction to public response is told in a motion graphic animation. The simple and punchy 2-D animation highlights compelling facts and reinforces the key features of The Ledge.