Empire State Building: 80th Floor

Immersing Guests in the Vibrant Story of an Iconic Landmark Through Modern Technology and Interactive Exhibits

In the final phase of the Empire State Building’s (ESB) reimagined Observatory Experience, Diversified worked with Thinc to build upon previous phases and showcase the building’s unique attributes. Through modern technology and interactive exhibits, guests are immersed in the vibrant story of the building’s past, present and future from the time they step through the entrance to the moment they walk out onto the 86th and 102nd floor observatories.

Exhibits on the 80th floor include NYC: Above and Beyond, Artistry in Light, Stephen Wiltshire’s Drawing, Scenes of NYC, Most Photographed and Share Your Experience, all of which Diversified was intimately involved in bringing to life.

NYC: Above and Beyond, created in partnership with NYC & Company, encourages visitors to create a personalized trip itinerary from the top of the ESB, often their first stop in NYC, by using interactive exhibits made up of seven “blade” displays and a 2×3 LED video wall that shows inspiring destination highlights from each of the five boroughs. IR reflective material for the ESB windows was installed to help eliminate the distracting effects of direct sunlight hitting the screens as guests interact. Additionally, the blades are designed on a ceiling rail system that allows them to slide out of the way into a tight configuration near the video wall for events.

The Artistry in Light exhibit features a short film narrated by world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman to show guests how the ESB’s music-to-light shows are created via a four-display media array on two walls, each with self-contained audio sources to tell various parts of the story.

Next, guests are ushered into the Stephen Wiltshire’s Drawing exhibit, where a 75” high bright LED display shows a three-minute film documenting Wiltshire’s process of drawing the New York City skyline from his 45-minute helicopter ride to his time sketching the original piece of art from memory.

Then, in Scenes of NYC and Most Photographed, guests are immersed in the full experience of visiting New York City all from the interactive exhibits of one building. In Scenes of NYC, Diversified was the first to install electronics into the classic viewfinders—providing guests a virtual visit to various places across the city via nine Tower Optical Viewers that pan and tilt with the viewer. Locations are identified with signage overhead on the ceiling-mounted compass rose.

In Most Photographed, a 4×4, 1.2mm LED video wall showcases images taken from around the city with the ESB in the background, allowing guests to take a selfie from places they may not have had a chance to visit. An additional display to the side of the video wall credits the photographers whose photos are displayed.

Finally, Share Your Experience, boasts an interactive exhibit made up of four arrays of three vertically stacked touch displays that stunningly displays all photos from social media with the #EmpireStateBuilding hashtag, allowing guests to merge photos of their visit with those of other visitors from around the world. Guests can interact with the screen, touching any picture to enlarge it and take a closer look.

Through Diversified’s engineering and innovative solutions, the ESB has been able to create memorable experiences for visitors from around the world—memories they will have for years to come. A true icon with deep roots in American culture, this renovation has proven that the 88-year-old building will always stand the test of time and will forever be a global symbol of innovation and the American dream.

Learn more about Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this spectacular reimagination project.

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