The Beacon at PNC Tower is a sculpture installed in the lobby of the PNC Bank Headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh. The Beacon communicates to visitors that the building itself is a living and breathing structure that changes daily to respond to the environment around it.

The piece is comprised of 2 layers, an outer layer comprised of 1,536 liquid crystal panels and an inner layer of custom LED lighting. The Beacon visualizes real-time data drawn from The Tower at PNC Plaza’s building systems.  

Liquid crystal glass - better known as "smart glass," changes its level of diffusion when it receives an electrical current. The data pulled from the building affects that amount of electricity on the smart glass layer, as well as the visuals displayed on the inner LED grid.  Both of these technologies were selected because of their low-energy consumption in order to align with PNC Bank's goals of creating the greenest building in the world. 

Using custom-created software designed for the installation, each row on the sculpture maps to a floor in the building and visualizes various data-points pulled from the building itself.  Occupancy, temperature, waste and mechanical sensors were all tracked and mapped to the unique circular canvas.  

Created while at ESI Design, I was the Lead Technology Designer and oversaw both the front and back-end hardware technology design.


Video Courtesy of ESI Design

Skills Employed:

Experience Designer, Creative Technical Designer, Custom Electronics, Fabricator Oversight, Systems Design Oversight, Systems Engineering Oversight, Architectural Coordination, Network Oversight, Worked with Custom Software, Generative Media, New build, Prototyping & Mock-Ups, Arduino, Commercial Grade Hardware.