Skip navigation

First-year Foundation students are creating video animations to be projected on the exterior of the Cira Centre office high-rise building in May.

At night, the 29-story skyscraper near Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station illuminates the city’s skyline with 1,500 decorative LED light fixtures programmed to showcase artistic and community-driven light-shows.

Each of the 16 students in Thompson Harris' Color Theory class are proposing a minute-long lighting/color solution for the building’s four illuminated facades as part of their end-of-semester final project. This will take the form of a video that displays the four panels in unison. 

The lighting proposal will be unique to each student, reflecting one of the core color concepts as well as the students’ original design. Students must also submit a 500-word proposal sketching out their ideas, how they arrived at the idea and how it relates to color and the city of Philadelphia at large.

“Some of the projects are very detailed and others are simple,” Harris said. “It will be interesting to see what will translate on the building.”

The individual proposals, when completed at the end of this month, will be submitted for review by Brandywine Realty Trust, the real estate investment trust (REIT) which owns the Cira Centre. Approximately five or six videos will be chosen to be highlighted on the building, maybe more.

A formal viewing of the lighting project will take place on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 from 8 - 9 pm. Members of the public are encouraged to join the students on the east steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to watch the exciting show projected on building.

“We’re thrilled to engage the gifted students at Moore College of Art & Design for this community-based performance. Moore is an exceptional talent pool and we welcome the opportunity to display those talents on the facade of Cira Centre,” said Jerry Sweeney, president & CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust.

Harris, Moore's faculty member, said the idea for the lighting project came to him during his evening commute from Philadelphia to his home in New York, where he would view the interesting illuminations on the Cira Centre building. When he worked in the art department at Rutgers University, students participated in site specific, color-based installations as a final project, which also inspired the idea.

Rebecca Martin, a first year Fine Arts major in Harris' class, said she chose the Munsell Color System, a color matching system, as her color concept. Her design theme incorporates a color wheel that fans out into a horizontal rainbow.

“It is an interesting project but you have do this design layer by layer, slide by slide in Photoshop,” she said. “It has helped me learn how to use the timeline feature for animating things in Photoshop. I’m very excited for the public to see the work.”

Maria Salazar, a first year Illustration major, said her animation is inspired by the sky and the shift in colors from dawn to dusk to night.

“I want to create an awareness of the change of colors during the day and how radically they change,” she said. “This happens because as illumination changes, colors change...I didn’t really know how to use Photoshop before this class but it has been a great learning experience and a really cool project,” she said.


About Brandywine Realty Trust

Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE: BDN) is one of the largest, publicly traded, full-service, integrated real estate companies in the United States with a core focus in the Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Austin markets. Organized as a real estate investment trust (REIT), we own, develop, lease and manage an urban, town center and transit-oriented portfolio comprising 232 properties and 28.9 million square feet as of December 31, 2015. Our purpose is to shape, connect and inspire the world around us through our expertise, the relationships we foster, the communities in which we live and work, and the history we build together. Our deep commitment to our communities was recognized by NAIOP naming Brandywine the 2014 Developer of the Year – the highest honor in the commercial real estate industry. For more information, please visit

Moore College of Art & Design educates students for careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's art college. Moore's student-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers ten bachelor of fine arts degrees for women. Coeducational graduate programs launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, continuing education programs for professional adults, the 91-year-old acclaimed Young Artists Workshop for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit

Published on April 22nd, 2016