With the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site in Manhattan moving forward at full steam, developer Silverstein Properties was in need of a marketing/sales office to present what the new development will offer to prospective tenants.
Enter mOcean and GES, who teamed to create a full-service marketing experience that overlooks the WTC worksite from 10 stories above.
GES was approached by mOcean, a marketing and branding company based in Los Angeles, and they assembled a team to meet with Silverstein Properties, the developer of New York City’s World Trade Center Towers 2, 3, 4 and 7. The task was to create a unique marketing and sales experience that would help SPI with leasing that nearly nine million square feet of commercial space in the towers, which are scheduled to be completed within the next two years.
“We needed to bring Larry Silverstein’s vision of the future of the World Trade Center to life. People had to walk through this and be able to see what 2013 would look like before their very eyes,” says mOcean executive vp Kevin Aratari.
GES and mOcean created an experience that highlights the project’s world-renowned architects and the thriving community surrounding the site. The result is a 6,200-square-foot marketing experience located on the 10th floor of 7 World Trade Center, overlooking the Ground Zero reconstruction.
“There was a lot of misinformation about the project, so we wanted to educate people about what it was really all about. It wasn’t a traditional leasing center—it’s more of a hybrid of leasing center and museum exhibit,” says GES executive creative director Robin Stapley.
Visitors are escorted through the experience and given an overview of the redevelopment project. The host controls all the audio, lighting and video wirelessly from a hand-held iPad as visitors learn through multimedia, exhibits and an introduction to the three world-renowned architects who designed the towers.
There are three main focal points covered in the center: living, working and transportation in and around lower Manhattan. “When the host walks them through the space, they can guide visitors through from beginning to end, up until a dramatic reveal of the construction area below and scale models of the future buildings, and then let them self-explore from there. Or, they can let them self-explore completely on their own—it’s very flexible,” Stapley says.
In terms of layout, the experience was designed to unfold and take the visitor on a journey. As prospective clients walk in, they enter a lobby that feels very traditional, but mOcean and GES created a multi-screen theater at the end that introduces them to the vision of the property as a starting point for the journey.
The building the center is located in is opposite the construction site, which set up a dramatic reveal of the view of the buildings going up.
“People would naturally gravitate to the windows and take in the view. We came up with a way of almost disguising that view. We came up with a giant curved wall that screened the view and made it more of a reveal,” Aratari says.
The team created a ramp that elevates visitors as they walk into the viewing area, adding to the dramatic effect and setting up a three-act story in the center’s overall message: First is Silverstein’s vision for lower Manhattan, second is the architectural area leading up to the window reveal, and the third is the reveal of the construction underway.
“It’s a breathtaking view, and by getting the story out first and then giving them the big reveal, now they’re ready to focus on the business of the sales floor,” Aratari says.
A floor-to-ceiling scale model of the project is also in this viewing room, as well as a huge rendering of what the final results will look like. “You really get a sense for what the final vision is going to be,” Stapley says.
Interactives throughout the experience also help tell the story.
A transportation interactive features touchscreens that illustrate commuter routes from around the city and surrounding area that are all animated, showing distance and commuting time to the WTC site.
Video interviews with local business owners and restaurant owners to tell their stories of lower Manhattan first-hand, and monitors throughout the space are tied into static graphics, so the visual effects all work in concert. At the end of the experience, visitors put on hard hats and head down for the tour of the site itself.