The Success of 150 Media Stream’s Permanent Art Installation from Another Angle


Situated in the lobby of 150 North Riverside, Chicago’s exclusive new commercial tower, a stunning video canvas of more than 3,000 square feet serves as a dynamic, real-time digital sculpture for tenants and visitors alike. Dubbed 150 Media Stream, the permanent art installation delivers a unique curatorial experience to emotionally connect both tenants and visitors and creates a “must-visit” site that allows the building to stand out in the evolving riverfront architecture.

Nominating Company: Leviathan, Chicago, Illinois
Venue: 150 Media Stream, Chicago, Illinois
Project: 150 Media Stream
Category: Venues & Public Spaces

We were assigned to create a visual display that matched the vista of the magnificent river view and allowed for shifting visuals that could vary widely in color and form. At 127-feet-wide, this permanent LED video sculpture combines art, video and photography, driven by multiple data feeds and a custom–built content management system.

One of the most exciting challenges that came with this project was designing for the scale of the video wall. We needed to create content for a 127-foot structure while working on 28-inch monitors. We had to ensure that what we were programming was going to translate well onto a canvas much larger than we could possibly fit into our studio, and would be set in a building that wasn’t yet built. On top of this, our client requested days of content, which meant finding a way to address seasonal, monthly, weekly, daily and even real-time considerations using generative algorithms.

This challenge led us to create a Virtual Reality viewer of the space. Using the actual CAD models of the building, our 3D artists were able to create a full-scale replica of the installation that could be used to visualize the content we were creating from our desk on a life-sized model of the wall. The VR viewer became an important tool throughout the development process to help give us a true sense of how our designs would look, as well as a powerful way to fuel excitement and communicate what we were doing on the project to others. Using the VR Viewer, we were even able to take the building’s architects inside of their creation before it was built!

Part of 150 Media Stream’s ongoing success is that it now has world renowned international artists and institutions contributing content, resulting in captivating public art exhibitions. These artworks empower curators with maximum visual flexibility through our intelligent content library, which uses generative algorithms to heighten originality and relevance. Such an innovative enhancement gratifies current tower inhabitants, attracts desirable new tenants and even shares art with the public.

Leviathan (content creation, media server design)
Goettsch Partners (architect)
McCann Systems (integrator)
Digital Kitchen (structural design)

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