Three Installations at California’s Tallest Observation Deck


The thrill of journeying to the top of the 70-story-high Skyspace LA, California’s tallest observation deck, takes hold 16 stories down, where visitors transfer between elevator banks. It’s there that Stimulant created three captivating installations that are exciting, suspenseful and purposeful.

Nominating Company: Stimulant, San Francisco, California
Venue: Skyspace LA Immersive Experiences, Los Angeles, California
Project: Skyspace LA
Category: Immersive Environments

While we’ve digitally enhanced several observation decks, the buildings that house these attractions aren’t always originally built with publicly accessible viewing platforms in mind. The US Bank Tower in Los Angeles, the tallest building west of the Mississippi, requires visitors to transfer between elevator banks in order to get to the top. The owners and space designers asked Stimulant to envision a way to make this transition exciting, suspenseful, and purposeful.

The greatest challenge was figuring out how to make the transfer-floor experience interesting and exciting without literally spoiling the view. We had to create a range of experiences that had some drama and fun that could allude to the view above, and pay homage to the idea of ascension, while feeling very “L.A.” Also, from a design perspective, selling abstraction over realism or detail is a hard design sell. However, abstraction with deep and thoughtful intention can really bring beauty to minimalism, and that helped a great deal in designing media for this set of exhibits. This played very well towards our goal of enhancing the space and alluding to the view that visitors are about to experience without “spoiling the surprise.”

Three Installations at California’s Tallest Observation DeckSOLUTIONS
The first experience is the 360-Degree Landscape, a 50-foot by 30-foot interactive projection-mapped ellipsoid space that surrounds visitors with the topography of LA. Visitors move around the space to crack open “gems” and uncover playfully animated graphics representing various points of interest. The ellipse also includes a video mode, facilitating playback of custom-produced content. Our next attraction is a custom-built Infinity Mirror that mimics the unique shape and lights at the crown of the building. LEDs in the fixture respond to visitor presence and animate in a spirited fashion.

High-quality mirrors in the fixture make the effect appear to drop off into infinity, leaving the true depth a mystery to guests standing on top of the structural glass. The Reflection Wall experience playfully tracks visitors’ body shapes with thousands of effervescent digital bubbles. A timed “flash” freezes their poses for posterity (and picture-taking) before casting their bubbly avatars upward.

Three Installations at California’s Tallest Observation DeckRESULTS
The large-scale, multi-user interactive experiences mitigate wait times, reward curiosity and build excitement for the grand reveal of the view on the 70th floor.

AV Hardware and Integration: Worldstage
Fabrication: Cinnabar
Architect: Gensler
Construction: Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company


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