The design ambition was to emulate the look and feel of a live basketball arena throughout the office. Finishes such as basketball leather, stanchion pads, and maple flooring (including recycled court floors), can be seen running throughout the space. Our greatest challenge lay in creating timeless designs to fit the reimagined New York office to continually celebrate the league’s past, present, and future. The goal was to honor the traditions of the NBA, while at the same time to highlight its ability to evolve and adapt.
At TAD, one metric for success is the degree to which the client and their stakeholders engage and embrace our work. In addition to the glowing reception by the NBA’s senior leadership, our visual design system was seamlessly integrated into the static Environmental Graphic Design throughout the venue.
Our work spanned nine floors with 13 content modes that celebrate the NBA’s core values of integrity, teamwork, respect, and innovation. The client welcomed our addition of “fun,” which leveraged playful, interstitial 3D animations and the use of vernacular broadcast graphics. This transformative project began with and followed our 4D process (Discover, Define, Develop, Deploy). Everything we proposed and made was grounded in an iterative process of identifying personas, charting journeys, and exploring the possibilities of physical canvases, the substance, and behaviors of the content displayed. TAD was integral in the selection of materials and finishes, especially in the NBA lobby.
We employed a variety of unique signage form-factors, like ultra-narrow stretch LCDs, which we deployed in two orientations.
Vertically, taking inspiration from the game itself, we created a new form of media called “The Post.” The Post is a public signage on landings displaying real-time data such as team standings, game schedules, scores, league news and events, weather, transit data, and annual rookie draft photos, featuring animated transitions like 3D falling basketballs that fill the tall frame as if being poured from above. This enhancement has become a meeting point for colleagues on the floor due to its iconic look and placement into the exposed column.
Horizontally, for the NBA lobby, TAD rotated the same LCD displays and recessed them into a niche in the onyx glass walls of the vestibule. We imagined the space communicating a more formal reverence for the sport by conjuring images of an Arthurian Hall of legends. In league mode, the LCDs disappear, becoming jewel boxes that glow with all 30 team’s logos, with Eastern and Western Conference logos featured on opposing sides. The screens display three more modes: Welcome greets visitors in all primary world languages, History plays a scroll of historical footage, and Matchups highlights each day’s games, complete with lower third fed a real-time.
To help employees and visitors navigate the space, on every floor we designed wayfinding signage. Like all other endpoints, these interactive maps leverage and extend the new digital brand content look and feel TAD created for the NBA.
At the New York offices, TAD embodied the brand’s identity by acting as a team, along with STUDIOS Architecture and Airspace, to execute this project. Our Content Strategy and DXD work, paired with our AV design, the environmental graphics, and the architectural finishes alike make it clear that no matter where you stand in the newly designed headquarters, you are at the epicenter of the NBA.
All photos are courtesy of STUDIOS Architecture, Photography by Garrett Rowland.