Visitors create custom guidebooks and itineraries for their visit to the city, which they can view on large screen.
The design was developed in collaboration with media design company Local Projects.
Here's some text from WXY Architecture:
WXY ARCHITECTURE AND NYC & COMPANY PIONEER RADICAL REDESIGN OF THE NYC INFORMATION CENTER
Media hybrid of architecture and interactive mapping software will dramatically reshape the way NYC visitors and residents navigate the five boroughs
New York, NY – WXY architecture + urban design, one of New York’s leading architecture practices, along with NYC & Company—the city’s official marketing, tourism and partnerships organization—have just completed the NYC Information Center. The design, in collaboration with award-winning media design firm Local Projects, is an innovative re-invention of the way visitors and residents plan their New York City itineraries. The NYC Information Center is located at 810 Seventh Avenue (between 52nd and 53rd streets) and officially opened to the public on January 21, 2009.
“We are immensely pleased with the sleek new design and state-of-the-art technologies that make up the new NYC Information Center,” said George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company. “The new center is fitting of New York City and its residents, and will be a model for visitor information centers around the globe."
“The invitation by NYC & Company to completely re-conceive the familiar visitor center experience was a complex challenge,” says WXY principal architect Claire Weisz. “By working closely with Local Projects, we were able to integrate their sophisticated technology into the interior architecture, without impacting the integrity our design”.
WXY has created a new paradigm that eliminates the need for dated print brochures. Alternatively, users can now place digitized “pucks” on the ‘Interactive Map Tables’, which trigger the mapping software and allows them to create custom guidebooks and itineraries of New York City.
The i-shaped glowing “digital mirrors” that hover above the Smart Tables are guided by the universal symbol for information – a single i – and function to draw visitors through the space on an oblique pathway. The mirrors throw a color-based projection on to a fabric screen made of Barrisol which responds to the user’s choices based on the category of activity selected such as dining, entertainment, lodging, etc.
Once an itinerary is developed, the visitor can then choose to view their travel plans in three formats. The large video wall, located on the rear wall of the information center, is comprised of 16 high definition flat screen monitors that allow visitors to view a dynamic three-dimensional map of their urban itinerary. By placing the digitized puck on the screen’s designated pylon, a visitor’s saved search becomes a dramatic cartographic display of the city from above travel route mapped out within it.
Visitors can also use the digitized puck-to-pylon method to obtain their itinerary in hard copy or send themselves an itinerary directly from the Interactive Map Table via email or text to access from their Personal Electronic Device. Alternatively, FAQ Information kiosks are available for simpler searches. Four wall-mounted vertical touch-screen monitors link users to the company website, nycgo.com, for basic inquiries such as famous city landmarks and popular restaurants, etc.
Great attention was given to the lighting of the information center’s interior for which WXY created an ambient, adaptable and color-saturated experience. Recessed light coves that run the length of the space infuse the center with a soft, white illumination while the light emitted by the various media displays brighten the interior without the use of direct lighting.
About WXY architecture + urban design
WXY architecture + urban design is an award-winning multi-disciplinary practice based in New York City that is celebrated for its interest and agility in relating architecture, culture, civic, infrastructure, and public space to both the intimate, individual scale and the grander presence of the urban environment. WXY’s wide range of projects emphasize sustainability and evolve through a collaborative and integrative approach
where a critical response to specific conditions of program, site context and technical requirements guide the firm in providing inventive solutions to complex design problems. WXY is the new identity of Weisz + Yoes, and it continues to be led by principal architects Claire Weisz, Mark Yoes and Layng Pew.
About NYC & Company
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.