An Oddly Proportioned Corridor Is Reimagined as a Constantly Changing Interactive Experience

1st Place, Interior

Located in San Francisco, the 88 Kearny Lobby is a renovated office building lobby transformed by a digital interactive experience. The original space was a 120-foot-long, oddly proportioned corridor that felt like an afterthought though it was the building’s primary entrance. It was essential to the client to attract tenants in the active tech leasing market but not alienate more corporate tenants who traditionally occupied the building.

PHOTOS: Jason O’Rear; BEFORE PHOTOS: Gensler

The solution was to turn its weakness into its strength and make the journey through the lobby a delightful, energizing and constantly new experience. The approach was to turn the corridor into a digital art gallery, which revealed itself only when viewed axially and walking directly through the lobby. From outside the building, you can see a dynamic image. As you enter the lobby, the image displayed on 25 23-foot LED screens fragments into strips and interacts with you as you pass it, then recomposes again as you enter the elevator lobby. Leaving the lobby provides a different experience that begins with the entire image, then seeing only fragments and finally seeing only metal panels softly illuminated by the then-invisible digital canvases.

The team designed and produced a library of bespoke digital content programmed to change and respond to lobby traffic with motion-sensitive technology. The real-time dynamic content maintains relevancy day to day, celebrating Bay Area culture, including events and holidays, natural scenery that shifts with the changing seasons and time of day, as well as ambient moments that showcase artistic process. Although much of the content is digitally generated, commissioned photography and time-lapse footage was also used to complete the multitude of unique thematic scenes. The content and architecture were developed together, creating a space that delights and responds to tenants. The design team’s goal was that tenants and their guests would never experience the same walk twice.

“I gave this a 5 out of 5. It’s just a hallway, essentially, and now it’s pretty darn cool.”


Brett Baba, co-founder, Graham Baba Architects, Metamorphosis Awards Judge

Retrofit Team

METAMORPHOSIS AWARD WINNER and ARCHITECT: Gensler

  • Doug Zucker, project leader
  • Greg Gallimore, digital experience concept lead, project oversight
  • Amy Campbell, architectural design director
  • Dan Baroni, architectural project manager
  • David Bradshaw, architectural project architect
  • Sarah Frankel, digital experience production manager
  • Jesus Garcia Galvez, lead technologist, hardware systems design
  • Kaya Ono, digital experience media development and art direction
  • Jacob Stephens, generative software developer
  • Graeme Asher, reactive sensor system developer

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Principal Builders

SYSTEMS ENGINEERING AND INTEGRATION: Diversified Systems Inc.

LIGHTING DESIGN: Banks Landl

ARCHITECTURAL FABRICS (DIFFUSION): Archetype Lighting

DESK AND BENCH CREATION: PAW Architectural Woodwork

Materials

ENDGRAIN OAK: Kaswell Flooring Systems

ARCHITECTURAL MESH: Kaynemaile Architectural Mesh

DIFFUSION MATERIAL: Barrisol

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