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Willis (née Sears) Tower Tenant Upgrades with LEA Professional Audio

Willis Tower, Chicago
(Image credit: Guido Coppa on Unsplash)

The second tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) located in the heart of Downtown Chicago, is home to more than 100 companies and is one of the United States’ most iconic tourist attractions. When a tower client needed a powerful, flexible, and scalable audio system, audio supplier USIS AV specified LEA Professional.

The team at USIS AV was tasked with the AV design and build in two floors of the tower, encompassing over 90,000 square feet. The floors are leased by a global coworking company that provides premium work, meeting, and event spaces around the world and needed a multifunctional system that could meet the ever-changing needs of its clientele. The unique space in Willis Tower was designed to be reconfigured depending on the specific need, with flex walls allowing the area to accommodate both small breakout sessions and open out for larger conference and event settings.

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LEA Professional boardroom audio upgrade

The USIS AV team was tasked with providing equal acoustic coverage across 17 different rooms within 90,000 square feet of space, and had to contend with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass. (Image credit: LEA Professional)

For Anthony Magarelli, director of engineering at USIS AV, the historical landmark came with its challenges: not only were the team ensuring equal acoustic coverage across 17 different rooms within 90,000 square feet of space, USIS AV also had to contend with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass.

“Product placement was a real challenge on this project and we were constantly re-evaluating zone layout and counts,” Magarelli said. “That was the beauty of working with LEA Professional amplifiers; their system is completely scalable so their form factor worked really well in this space and eliminated some of the main challenges.”

For Pearl River, NY based USIS AV, IoT capabilities such as LEA Professional’s Cloud Platform are vital to providing exceptional customer care.

LEA Professional 354 CONNECT SERIES

USIS AV installed 10 354 CONNECT SERIES amplifiers to provide equal coverage across the two floors. (Image credit: LEA Professional)

“The ability to have this system on the cloud allows us to troubleshoot projects with any of our certified support staff across different time zones,” Magarelli said. “No matter where our client might be based, we can still provide them with an incredible level of support, even in a time where travel is not always possible.”

In the end, USIS AV installed 10 354 CONNECT SERIES amplifiers to provide equal coverage across the two floors. With the global pandemic causing delays all over the world, Margarelli was working against the clock to get this project completed on time.

“It was LEA Professional’s responsiveness and professionalism that made it possible for us to finish this project, despite challenging circumstances,” Margarelli said. “While we experienced some delays from other manufacturers, LEA got us their product on time and they were with us every step of the way.”

“We are proud LEA Professional’s pioneering technology could be part of such an iconic building,” said Joey Palkowitch, North America sales manager for LEA Professional. “It’s a thrill for us to have the Cloud Platform sitting among the clouds in downtown Chicago, and we look forward to working with USIS AV on more projects in the future.”