The Empire State Building’s Reimagined Observatory Experience in New York, NY was recently featured in the January 2020 issue of Premier Construction.
This four-phase project consisted of the renovation and redevelopment of the 34th Street entrance, 2nd floor, 80th floor, and the Observation Decks on the 86th and 102nd floors. The Lighting Practice was part of the design team, led by Thinc Design, tasked with enlivening and enhancing the guest experience.
Al Borden, Jon Hoyle, and Chris Hallenbeck designed an integrated lighting system for all four-phases. At the 34th Street entrance, guests are welcomed by a 25-foot architectural model mirroring the colors of the Empire State Building’s tower-lights in real-time. Optically precise LED sources provide a crisp visual appearance throughout the 2nd floor galleries and exhibits. Fixtures are individually controlled and tuned to each space to support the individual’s experience of each exhibit. TLP used contrasting warm and cool color temperatures to enrich exhibit materials and at times simulate daylight. To create a positive guest experience and promote social shareability, TLP determined appropriate fixture placement and intensity levels to support high-quality selfies without compromising the background or foreground.
TLP’s lighting design supports the observatory’s nighttime and daytime views on the 80th, 86th, and 102nd floors. After dark, the lighting on the Observation Decks fade to a soft lavender to support breathtaking views of the city, minimizing reflections in the glass, while adding a romantic atmosphere.
Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, discussed with Premier Construction the project’s goal and impact on the visitor experience. “The completed Empire State Building Observatory elevates our Guests’ experience, from our new entrance to the dramatic and exciting 102nd floor which is the crown jewel of the Empire State Building.” He continues, “With the expertise of our design partners, these new galleries will engage visitors in unprecedented ways.”
The Lighting Practice is honored to have been part of the team tasked with designing this monumental and iconic project. The Empire State Building Observatory Experience is open seven days a week from 8:00 am to 2:00 am.
Premier Construction features construction projects from across the UK and profiles the industry’s most innovative companies and projects. The magazine provides a one-stop-shop for construction industry information in an eye-catching, interactive format.