The Johnson Wax Headquarters in Racine Wisconsin, which opened in 1936 is a modern masterpiece designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. To celebrate the iconic building Squint/Opera created an immersive 360 film that allows viewers to explore the ground-breaking design from an intimate perspective.
Footage is accompanied by interviews with building occupants conducted with ambisonic microphones to provide a 360 degree representation of sound. Employees stories demonstrate the intricate beauty and innovation of the architecture within which they work alongside design flaws which are sometimes comical. Three-legged chairs were sleekly designed but unstable and often caused employees to fall over. From above, large domed windows with concentric patterns flood open spaces with natural light but would often leak and ruin documents or in the summer, make conditions too hot to work in.
Throughout the building, the incredible attention to detail and unique geometry is inspiring. Nothing was missed, even the underground parking spaces have beautiful domed structures and the elevators are like rounded bird cages floating through the building.
The film was written and produced by multi-award winning filmmaker and Squint/Opera Creative Director Callum Cooper and Carrie Budge, a multimedia producer whose award winning portfolio includes films for the Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and Vice.
The film was played during Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s announcement and used as part of a carefully choreographed presentation by Bjarke Ingels. At the heart of the design concept is how we experience the city, from how we interact with each other in our homes to new mobilities and sustainability. To bring this to life we needed to create a more immersive way for viewers to experience an architectural vision, so the film was made to be an eye-level tour with Bjarke Ingels transplanted into the digital proposal as a physical tour guide. As Bjarke explains his design philosophy the woven city is revealed around him.