The Prow at WarnerMedia HQ

Submitted by ESI Design

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Client: WarnerMedia

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: Jan 01, 2019

Project Team

Artist, Experience Designer

ESI Design

Fabrication, Engineering, Installation

Parallel Development

Overview

The new WarnerMedia headquarters at Hudson Yards is more than an office — it’s an immersive media experience.

The centerpiece, and beating heart of the HQ is the iconic Prow, a data-driven light sculpture that rises 65 feet through four floors of the building’s iconic wrap-around staircase. The Prow faces out to the Manhattan skyline and forms a visible beacon across the city. The sculpture algorithmically transforms WarnerMedia content into a dazzling art installation, pulling colors from frames of the content, whether short teasers or entire movies, and animates them across 258,400 LEDs.

Goals

At 30 Hudson Yards – the second-tallest office tower in the city — workers from every division of WarnerMedia came together in one place for the first time ever. This created an opportunity for the workplace itself to play a crucial role in uniting all employees under the single brand identity of WarnerMedia. To create a modern employee experience, the compelling story of WarnerMedia and its divisions needed to be told digitally throughout the 1.5M square-foot headquarters.

Alongside a series of other dynamic digital media activations and interactive experiences, the Prow materializes the iconic, artistic work that happens each and every day at WarnerMedia, and broadcasts it to employees, visitors, and all of New York City. By combining art, architecture, and media The Prow embodies the essence of WarnerMedia’s new headquarters.

Process

ESI Design and WarnerMedia worked closely over the multi-year design process to develop the form and select the content of the Prow. Parallel Development fabricated, engineered and installed the massive light sculpture that hangs from the ceiling and is made up of 352 rings with a total of 258,400 LEDs.

Additional Information

The Prow plays two key modes - Visualization, and Brand – which can be changed in real time via two displays. Visualization mode draws from WarnerMedia’s universe of movies, trailers, and TV episodes, and artistically interprets them. The colors from these frames dance abstractly in one of three styles—rings, streams, and fireflies. Custom software algorithmically analyzes the color of the source video and animates it live on the sculpture. Brand mode displays WarnerMedia brand logos with no algorithm applied, so that they are legible. Still images for special events or holidays can also be featured.