2 Queen: Passage of Light

BACKGROUND

2 Queen Street East is a significant commercial tower in downtown Toronto. The property's unique design incorporates the past and present, integrating a historic 1910 bank branch façade with the modern conveniences of a premier office property. Seeking to enliven the building’s lobby and plaza, Brookfield Properties asked Forge to deliver a creative and sophisticated upgrade that creates a coherent and delightful user experience.

OBJECTIVES

In addition to a new brand and signage, we created a large-scale digital art installation entitled “Passage of Light” that combines constantly-shifting generative art with tenant branding and event information, all displayed on two expansive 12-foot-tall columns. The concept is inspired by the lobby’s nautical theme and wavelike ceiling. Our goal was to use digital tools to capture the serenity, calmness and ineffable qualities of light as it reflects off the surface of water.

We used the Unity 3D game engine to build custom software and a complex algorithm to generate the visuals in real time. The system tracks the current wind speed and translates the data into the movements of a fractal mesh. In addition, a complex array of colour gradients subtly changes over the course of the day, replicating the look of the sky reflected on the water. When these elements are layered together, the generative artwork takes on a life of its own and will never look the same way twice. 

As an added functionality, the system includes a digital signage component that allows tenants to display posters for upcoming events or welcome messages for VIPs. Through a simple web portal, this content can be uploaded to the screens and shown for a specified amount of time.

RESULTS

“Passage of Light” brings together art and technology to modernize a familiar landmark and re-establish 2 Queen as a preeminent destination for top corporate tenants.


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