On Saturday night, the Merchandise Mart turned into a 2.5-acre canvas as Berglund celebrated the successful completion of our Art on theMART project. Thousands of Chicagoans turned out to view the display, which concluded with a firework show.
Our work as construction manager on the project centered on modifications at the Chicago River Walk to create the structure and associated facilities for the projector. This included the construction of a server room, projection room, ComEd electrical vault with new 480 V service, a food service kitchen and public restroom facilities. We also brought fiber optic communication lines under the Chicago River and conducted vibration studies to determine the viability of the installation.
Our crews installed 108 anchors for the projector racks, all of which were within a mandatory 1/32” tolerance. Tolerances were especially tight because one millimeter of deviation at the projector installation would have created two feet of deviation of the image on the building.
All construction took place in a highly trafficked public area, the Chicago Riverwalk, so dust control and careful logistics planning was critical. The project required multiple lanes closures on Lower and Upper Wacker Drive, which were all coordinated with the City and went on without incident. This included placing a Berglund crane on Upper Wacker Drive.
The project was completed on time and on budget, resulting in the largest digital art display in the world. From March through December, Art on theMART is scheduled to run on Wednesdays through Sundays for up to two hours.