Case Study: Integration

Empire State Building

A lot of coordination is required to miniaturize the world’s most iconic building
A lot of coordination is required to miniaturize the world’s most iconic building

Empire State Building


Design & Concept
Thinc Design

Lighting Designer
The Lighting Practice

Kubik Maltbie

Model Maker
Richard Tenguerian

Lighting Systems Integration


August 26, 2019



The Empire State Realty Trust and famed architectural model builder Richard Tenguerian worked together on a brand new visitor center inside the first floor of the iconic building.

The crown jewel of the newly redesigned space is a 23.6 foot building model by Richard Tenguerian. The model is unprecedented in size for an architecturally accurate model with this level of detail and features 6514 windows (the same amount as the actual Empire State Building). Nearly every brick and feature of the real building has been replicated in this meticulous and stunning model.


Atom Arts (formerly Connect Interactives) worked with Kubik and Richard’s studio to design, build and install an LED system for the top of the model that mirrors the colors of the LED tower lights and can replicate the building’s light shows. This was difficult considering the size of the model, heat constraints, control, data management, and other physical accessibility and construction related issues.

Multiple lighting systems, ranging from totally custom to off the shelf to fully custom were compared and stress tested. Ultimately, we implemented, and installed a solution that worked for all the requirements and control systems involved. Visitors to the Empire State Building can finally learn about the building they are in, in a way that wasn’t possible before!

Andrew helped us recreate the complex LED lighting system of a famous landmark structure at 1/25th scale for a special exhibition. His diligence, thoroughness and collaborative approach to problem-solving made the model lighting system about as agile as the original. We look forward to working with him again.

Alfred Borden, The Lighting Practice