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Fall 2017 Newsletter

William Blair Investments Broadcast Set Debuts

William Blair Investments Broadcast Set Debuts

In collaboration with designer Peter Provost from Provost Studios and Jim Skival from Production Craft, Chicago Scenic Studios recently completed the new webcast set for William Blair Investments. The webcast set was a part of the company’s rebranding and new location experience.

“ In William Blair’s former office, participants would stand in front of someone’s desk to do a report or story,” said Ross Hamilton, project director for Chicago Scenic. “Now they have new corporate offices and state of the art news set to support their professional broadcast efforts.”

The 400 square foot set features a rotating night and day Chicago cityscapes and panels that flip and move to create doors. A unique feature to this set, says Hamilton, is that the set is on the 37th floor. Panels were built to keep natural day light out but still leave adequate space to access the windows if necessary.

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Lincoln Dealer's Meeting

Lincoln Dealer's Meeting

For the fifth year in a row, Chicago Scenic Studios created the set for the Lincoln Dealer Meeting with event management company Gail & Rice. The annual event took place at the Microsoft Theatre, home to the Emmy Awards and the American Idol Finales in Los Angeles.

In Chicago Scenic’s spacious new facility, a full staging set up was easy, said Project Manager Stefan Koniarz. “Our client wanted to be able to see the set assembled for a walk through. With our 120-ft. by 180-ft. set-up and assembly floor and 32-foot ceiling height, we were able to do a run through with no problem,” said Koniarz.

The 117-foot long set, designed by Terry McClellan, was built in four weeks, and took six semi-trucks to transport to Los Angeles. A crew of 21 people, from both Chicago Scenic and LA’s Local 33, worked in split crews over a 48-hour period to assemble the set. When the show was complete, the entire crew worked tirelessly over seven hours to disassemble and ship out the entire show.

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CSSI Contributes to Chicago Architecture Biennial Projects

CSSI Contributes to Chicago Architecture Biennial Projects

For the second year, Chicago Scenic helped bring the visions of a number of architects and designers to reality for the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

AN AMERICAN TEMPLE

The Chicago Cultural Center

 Visitors entering the Chicago Cultural Center by the Washington Street entrance will find “An American Temple”, an 8-foot cube intended to evoke the early iterations of the first “Chicago Pile” created at the University of Chicago as part of the Manhattan Project. That pile, created by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, allowed the initiation of the first man-made self-sustaining nuclear reaction.

The sculpture was designed by a team from The Empire in Verona, Italy. Chicago Scenic’s team cut the sculpture’s black foam blocks on their CNCrouter, ensuring uniformity in the finished 6.5´ x 6.5´pieces.

A larger installation of An American Temple will be on display at the University of Chicago on December 2, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first nuclear reaction.

 

THE WEDGE PLATFORM

The Chicago Cultural Center

Designed by Mexico City’s architect Frida Escobedo, Chicago Scenic created the tilted timber platform, made of Baltic birch, and inserted it into the Cultural Center’s popular Randolph Square seating area.

Chicago Scenic’s Project Manager Doug Peer says the project’s biggest challenge was to ensure that the

platform seamlessly blended into its surrounding environment.

Peer worked remotely with the firm’s architects in Mexico City for several months as the wedge-platform design was developed, sharing detail drawings and progress photographs electronically and shipping material samples and finishes for approval.

Frequent Cultural Center visitors may notice that the sculpture changes periodically as staff move the sculpture’s wedge-shaped segments and rearrange them to subtly change the platform and the environment.

 

AIR HOUSES

Garfield Park Conservatory

Chicago Scenic’s Soft Goods Department head, Mark Botelho, helped architect Francois Perrin realize his vision for “Air Houses”, an installation of three pyramid-shaped sculptures that appear to float effortlessly above the plants in a Garfield Park Conservatory greenhouse.

The designer built the Air Houses’ internal structures, then came to Chicago Scenic for assistance in wrapping the fabric so that it presented a smooth and crisp exterior, an essential component of the design. Botelho used a series of fabric seams and Velcro fasteners to achieve the look.

The intent of the Air Houses is to demonstrate a flexible approach to structures that provide shelter and interact with climate conditions. In the greenhouse environment, the houses are meant to reactivate the symbiosis between nature and structure.

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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

For this year’s Chicago Marathon, Chicago Scenic Studios created both the Bank of America’s main registration booth and the oversized Merrill Lynch bull bell in collaboration with Rob Kodadek of Kodadek Studios and the Etzel Agency.

Located in McCormick Place, the 6,400 square foot registration booth was the starting point for all participating runners to collect their registration information from the custom welcome desk and get their souvenir bull bells, water bottles and other swag. The booth featured a USB port charging station and a hydration water bottle filling station created for crowds—participants could fill a water bottle in seconds, says Chicago Scenic Project Manager Angelo Petratos.

The iconic oversized Merrill Lynch bull bell sat on the corner of Jackson and Halsted, placed so that runners could hear the aluminum bell ring as they ran by. The bell was moved out as the last runner passed by. The 7-foot tall bell weighed in at more than 300 pounds.

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TD Ameritrade Webcast Set

TD Ameritrade Webcast Set

Under the direction of Broadcast Management Group, Chicago Scenic Studios fabricated a new webcast set for TD Ameritrade. The 450-square foot set can film in 360 degrees, features a custom desk for two news anchors, and a 60 inch monitor on a barn door track.

“A big challenge in this small space was the pre-existing support columns,” said Chicago Scenic’s Project Manager Angelo Petratos. CSSI incorporated the support columns into the set design, and created matching columns to complement the design aesthetic, Petratos added.

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Congratulations to American Writers Museum and 5 Wits Adventures on their National Awards

Congratulations to American Writers Museum and 5 Wits Adventures on their National Awards

American Writers Museum—Top Ranked Institution in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice award for the Best Illinois Attraction.

The Museum opened in May 2017 and became a popular destination for Chicago residents and visitors. Nominees for the Readers’ Choice Award were selected by a panel of experts and editors from USA TODAY, then over a fourweek period, the public voted for their favorite nominee to determine the final 10 Best Attractions.

Chicago Scenic was the project management and fabrication firm for the American Writers Museum, working with designer and principal Andrew Anway of Amaze Design, located in Boston. (see Studio News, Summer 2017). The AWM was also named as the top attraction in Fodor’s Travel article, “Inside the World’s 10 Best New Museums.”

 

5 Wits Adventures voted one of the Top 5 Escape Room facilities in the U.S.

5 Wits, adventure room creator, was voted one of the Top 5 Escape Room facilities in the USA Readers’ Choice 2017 competition. 5 Wits currently has five adventure rooms in MA and New York and was cited for their “high tech special effects and immersive adventures” with standouts like Espionage and Drago’s Castle.

Chicago Scenic has created three Drago’s Castles to date. There is one in Albany, NY, one in Buffalo, NY and a third in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

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