250 W 57th Street Lobby Ceiling

April 26, 2019 Alex Westerh

Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) set out to renovate the 537,839-square-foot office building with a goal for the lobby on its own to attract higher-paying tenants.


The commercial space at New York City’s 250 West 57th is the definition of prime real-estate. To attract higher-paying tenants to this space the owner, Empire State Realty Trust, set out to update the building and its lobby with unconventional technology.

Empire State Realty Trust needed to create a space that isn’t just a medium between the inside and outside, but an integral element of the building that exudes continuous motion, much like the people that live and work in the city that never sleeps.

To deliver on this goal, Electrosonic worked with Gensler, Tactical Maneuver and Megapixel VR to transform the lobby into a standout art installation. Designing and integrating a complete audiovisual and control system helped to engaged and awe guests, and created a living canvas that guests could engage with daily as they come and go from the building. To create this one of a kind project, the teams needed to redefine the lobby space and integrate technology seamlessly.

The massive screen creates generative and customizable images that evolve over a 24-hour cycle.


A long rectangular lobby doesn’t offer the greatest opportunities in the way of revolutionary design, so the solution offered needed to take this sharp space and transform it into a living environment. Electrosonic, in partnership with Emmy nominee lighting artist Marc Brickman, and digital artist Lindsay Scoggins, installed a 76’ x 8’ long LED screen transfixed to the ceiling. The massive screen creates generative and customizable images that evolve over a 24-hour cycle, comprised of abstract art, live news feeds, galaxy depictions, and extreme weather. The technology ensures that the same image will never reveal itself more than once.

"I did not want to do another white lobby, I didn’t want to do another black lobby. I didn’t want plants or a water feature. We wanted to do something that had never been done. And we didn’t want to have one big piece of art. We wanted something special, unique — something that is alive." - Anthony Malkin Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Empire State Realty Trust


The goal for Empire State Realty Trust in commissioning this project was to attract high-end long-term tenants to the building. Since the completion of the renovation, 250 W. 57th has attracted and retained many Fortune 500 companies and tech-savvy startup organizations. The technology embraced in the lobby has been fundamental in redefining the space.

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