Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower is one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago, drawing millions of visitors from around the world with spectacular, 360-degree views of the city. Thinc has completely reimagined the visitor experience, creating a compelling journey from street to sky, and revealing the city of Chicago in ways that can’t be experienced anywhere else.

The new experience begins on the lower level, telling the story of Chicago for visitors of all ages and backgrounds by weaving together the textures, colors, materials, structures, and attractions of this bold and innovative city. 37,700 sq ft of queueing space has been transformed into vibrant, playful, distinctive exhibits that offer insider knowledge about the city and Wills Tower itself, one-of-a-kind photo opportunities, and a memorable distillation of all that makes Chicago, Chicago. It is a whirlwind ride through the origins, architecture, transportation, communities, food, music, and art of the city.

The visitor experience is carefully designed to build anticipation for the journey to the 103rd floor Skydeck. Here visitors experience breathtaking views of the city and the exhilaration of The Ledge, four glass balconies suspended over the city. Exhibits on this floor subtly enhance the main attraction: the view. Visitors can interact with and explore different layers of the city around and below them. Digital media provides the opportunity to see the sights no matter the weather, while the queue for The Ledge offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this engineering wonder.

The transformed Skydeck Chicago offers entirely new ways of seeing the city, builds excitement and connects visitors to their surroundings, and creates a one-stop attraction for visitors to get to know Chicago. The experience was designed and constructed in collaboration with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago Scenic Studios, Clark Construction Group, Squint/Opera, Palazzo Lighting Design, Teecom, and the Institute for Human Centered Design.

Team: Thinc Design
Client: EQ Office
Summary: Exhibition Planning and Design
Project Type: Attractions
Location: Chicago , IL
Date: April 2021

Shahira Hammad 2023