Chicago’s Iconic Navy Pier Welcomes & Informs Guests w/ Help From @Nanolumens

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Chicago is a city that has always celebrated culture and the arts and that is especially apparent at Navy Pier, one of the Midwest’s top destinations. Originally completed in 1916 as part of Daniel Burnham‘s plan for Chicago, Navy Pier is an iconic landmark inspiring discovery and wonder. Since its last redevelopment in 1995, more than 180 million guests have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. As Navy Pier enters its second century, the venue is evolving into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.

During this evolution it became apparent that the ‘People’s Pier’ needed a better, brighter, and bolder way to welcome and inform guests without distracting them from the Pier itself. NanoLumens, award-winning creators of uniquely compelling interactive LED visualization solutions, provided the perfect solution with four of its Engage Series true HD displays that act as Navy Pier’s new, visually stunning welcome to guests.

Jeff Arko, Design Producer at Gensler told us “Navy Pier is a world-class entertainment, arts and social destination providing a myriad of activities and experiences for both Chicago locals and tourists. That energy and informational moment was created through expressive visuals promoting and inviting visitors to join in the fun while providing a dynamically updated daily activity information feed at entry,” said , the design firm that oversaw the renovation. We wanted to deliver a new welcoming experience that was both present and obvious but one that would not cause any kind of impedance on the journey for visitors from the entryway into the rest of the Pier experience.”

NanoLumens delivered four portrait mode 1.87mm Engage Series LED displays that measure 3.94’ x 7.75’, and sit side-by-side at the Pier’s entryway. Among the challenges was providing the spot with a physically obvious solution that wouldn’t dominate the area.

The columns can each run content separately or be used as a single canvas with messages that stretch across all four columns. The content is designed to help guests along on their journey through the Pier. “We didn’t want the content to force people to linger at the entryway. We wanted it to simply set that stage as they enter,” Jeff Arko “The NanoLumens multi-column solution helped achieve this goal.”

The project’s integrator Paul Krumrich of Spye dealt with a few challenges that went beyond design issues, and NanoLumens deftly tackled those as well. A three-day install accomplished over a big holiday weekend required some helpful collaboration. He said that “The ease of installation when working with NanoLumens displays helped as there were additional challenges that come with working in a very busy public space as a larger renovation was ongoing,. And as they always do, NanoLumens handled the custom size request with no problem and their displays are lightweight and easy to handle. The 6-year Nixel™ to Pixel warranty was very important to Navy Pier as well.”

“There was a balance that needed to be struck with this project that included a melding of tech, art and culture. The design of these NanoLumens displays enhances the Navy Pier experience and accomplishes the desired blend in a unique and very effective way.”

Navy Pier is located on Lake Michigan and is one of the top-attended nonprofit destinations in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming more than nine million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. In 2018, Navy Pier continues to usher in its second century with ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including the Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, 220-room hotel and more – in addition to free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe.

Leave a Reply