Upon its completion in 1974, the Aon Center was the fourth-tallest building in the world. Adorned with a façade of Italian Carrara marble, the Aon Center towered over the Chicago skyline and left crowds awestruck with its height and beauty. In recent years however the property management group for the building, a company called Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), diagnosed a problem. Audiences admiring the Aon Center from the outside were consistently unimpressed when entering the building’s interior. The drab lobby space was a complete let down. Since the Aon Center relies on its tenants as its primary source of revenue, JLL had an obvious interest in making sure current and prospective tenants were engaged and delighted when they entered the building. They couldn’t allow the iconic building to lose its luster. To address this issue, JLL set out to create a hyperlocal digital experience that would energize the lobby of the Aon Center, as well its guests and customers.
Prior to beginning construction on anything, JLL first needed to evaluate the challenges presented by the Aon Center lobby. Like the lobbies of most other prominent buildings, the entryway to the Aon Center experiences high levels of foot traffic throughout the day. Avoiding any long term interruption of daily activity was important, so JLL knew they needed a solution that they could integrate quickly. Another issue JLL recognized was that the lobby consistently welcomed a lot of ambient light through its massive windows. This light would compete with any digital visual feature, so it was necessary to install a technology bright enough to stand out. Lastly, JLL really wanted their digital feature to cultivate a sense of place for the building. They wanted tenants and guests to really feel like they were in a special building, and that the building was in a special city.
Dead set on a stunning digital feature to drive the historic Aon Center into the modern age, JLL analyzed the complications posed by the lobby space and decided that a large-format LED display was the ideal solution. Partnering with the LED experts from Nanolumens, the integration pros from Sensory Technologies, and the content gurus from Pixelfire, JLL got to work customizing their display solution. Targeting a display feature that would truly immerse tenants and guests alike, the team installed two 42-foot-wide by 10-foot-tall direct-view LED display solutions on either side of an interior entryway inside the lobby. It took just 11 days. According to Joe Hynes, the Senior VP of Project Management for JLL, “Nanolumens was the obvious choice.”
Thanks to the efficient work from Nanolumens, Sensory Technologies, and Pixelfire, JLL was able to achieve each of their goals without being held up by any of their predicted obstacles. The final results of the project are stunning. The mesmeric displays capture the attention of audiences the moment they enter the lobby space. Not only was the multitalented team able to design and build two gorgeous displays to precise specifications, but the installation took fewer than two weeks to integrate. This meant that the Aon Center got the interior facelift it needed with hardly any interruption to daily routines. To develop the Chicago-centric sense of place that JLL had targeted, Pixelfire created five three-minute videos that celebrate easily identifiable elements of Chicago’s culture and history. Publicfacing organizations with high-profile buildings need to project an impressive front to their audiences, and property management teams realize LED technology can transform not just their interior space but their entire brand image as well.
The two displays are each 42 feet wide by 10 feet high and are mounted on either side of an interior walkway in the Aon Center’s south lobby. Both displays feature a 4mm pixel pitch and together comprise a total of 840 square feet of display space. The displays run video content from Pixelfire on a continuous loop.