The Beacon at The Tower at PNC Plaza is recognized by Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards

Posted September 14, 2016

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The Beacon at The Tower at PNC Plaza wins honorable mention in 2016 Fast Company̵ Innovation by Design awards.

We’re excited to share that The Beacon at The Tower at PNC Plaza has received an honorable mention in the Spaces, Places & Cities category of Fast Company’s 2016 Innovation by Design Awards. With over 1,700 international submissions across 11 categories only the best of the best were recognized, including our experience design for The Beacon, a first of its kind model for how buildings can communicate life from within.

The Innovation by Design Awards program, now in its fifth year, honors the most innovative and disruptive design solutions to today’s business problems. The Beacon, a technology-and-media installation driven by real-time data solves a unique business challenge at its host building, The Tower at PNC Plaza.

The Tower at PNC Plaza was designed to be one of the world’s greenest office towers, but the building’s complex environmental systems can be difficult to understand. Gary Saulson, PNC’s former Director of Corporate Real Estate, challenged ESI to create something that would help employees better understand The Tower’s performance.

To solve this business challenge, ESI Design created The Beacon, a soaring installation made from a 24-foot transparent cylinder of LED, liquid crystal polycarbonate and responsive audio. Suspended in the lobby atrium, it pulses with shifting light, color, and sound patterns to visualize the building’s performance.

As The Tower adjusts to its environment, the Beacon reflects this with light, motion and sound. Our design included an interactive experience where anyone can access The Beacon’s current modes and their meanings in real-time at

The Beacon is high-impact, low-energy communicator that provokes a relationship between the people of Pittsburgh and their new neighbor, ‘the building that breathes.’ It’s as beautiful as it is informative.

Read more about our work on The Beacon at PNC Tower and if you are looking for ways to create engaging spaces for your building, we can help. Get in touch.

Tarley Jordan

Tarley is the studio’s Associate / Marketing and Communications Director and writes about interesting happenings across the studio and the world of experience design.

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