One York Street, Toronto (CAN)

Sun Life Financial


Sun Life Financial is a multinational insurance company, with a standout commitment to the well-being of the communities they serve. Their role as conscious corporate citizens includes, but is not limited to, philanthropic support of health and wellness programs, diabetes prevention and research as well as arts and culture initiatives. Sun Life seeks to emulate these core values by creating an exemplary working ecosystem that offers the best possible environment for the employees who make these worldwide efforts possible. To achieve this mandate, the international insurance leaders asked Réalisations to help design and create a collection of digital canvases throughout their new corporate headquarters. The digital canvas project pushes the boundaries of art and design, creating a unique environment for Sun Life employees. These digital canvases serve to brighten and uplift the spirit, in the same way as any traditional art installation.  


Nine separate installations work together to channel the intangible essence of day to day connections that make large-scale, positive change possible around the world. The installations make use of furniture design, high-impact visual displays, ambient reactivity and creative use of audio-visual technologies to present content that educates, surprises and sparks conversation. 


The installations themselves are spread across three floors, each located in a unique environment ranging from transitory corridors to employee lounge areas to executive spaces. Each area serves a unique function within the building, and hosts different audiences; advisors, corporate clients, investment bankers and employees. Réalisations used a refined visual toolbox to follow a continuum of design experiences from sophisticated to approachable, with elements of interactivity dialled up or down to suit the needs of the setting.

The digital canvas project pushes the boundaries of art and design, creating a unique environment for employees of Sun Life Financial's new corporate headquarters in Toronto.
The digital canvas project pushes the boundaries of art and design, creating a unique environment for employees of Sun Life Financial's new corporate headquarters in Toronto.

Creative Design to Educate Audiences


In addition to high-impact experiences, Réalisations integrated informative digital experiences via thoughtful furniture design, grounded in offering educational insights through interaction. 


These canvases include reactive animations to enhance the initial welcome desk experience, setting the tone for the rest of the spaces; a 21-foot touch screen timeline with fifteen decades worth of historical content and a motion-sensitive table offering several layers of tailored content via top projections, to entertain visitors in the reception area. 

Creative Design to Educate Audiences
<p>Creative Design to Educate Audiences</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p>
High-Impact Floor-to-Ceiling Visuals.
<p>High-Impact Floor-to-Ceiling Visuals</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p>
Thoughtful Ambient and Interactive Spaces
<p>Thoughtful Ambient and Interactive Spaces</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p>
Thoughtful Ambient and Interactive Spaces
<p>Careful combinations of informative content and sleek design</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p>

High-Impact Floor-to-Ceiling Visuals


Skyline Wall

The reactive digital tapestry reveals layered images of ten international cities as people move along the length of the corridor. Thirteen visual effects are triggered by movement revealing the collection of cityscapes, transitioning from picturesque skylines to urban streetscapes. 


The corridor is an artery of human movement and the benefit of a reactive digital canvas is that it does not call for users to disrupt their routine to come alive.  


People Collage Wall

The People Collage Wall puts community at the heart of this digital experience. Taking the idea of the “selfie”, but with a collaborative twist, the system will only take a photo if two or more people are detected in front of the camera. Photos are then integrated into a digital mosaic on a nearby wall, which spells out motivational words. Users can choose to engage by having their photo taken, or simply appreciate the visual mosaic projected onto the adjacent wall. This digital canvas works well for team-building, and ice-breaking, while the easy-to-use interactivity is inclusive and accessible for all. 



Tactile Wall

This wall display is a participation-based installation, to foster community and engage employees. The Tactile Wall consists of an interactive wall and a passive wall. The interactive wall is controlled by gestures and movements of a single user, positioned on a floor menu in front of the wall. 


A user can change between a wide variety of content by moving between the floor menu categories, and pointing to the various sub-categories displayed on the wall. Users also have the option to “share” various media that they encounter, which are then displayed on the adjacent passive wall.


Thoughtful Ambient and Interactive Spaces


Elevator Landing

Comprised of two LED ceiling strips positioned along the elevator corridor, this installation reacts to movement in the area. Using motion-detection, a gentle amber light will follow the path of human activity in the hallway. 


The goal of the installation in this area is to create a welcoming and warm reactive environment while guests congregate and pass through the elevator landing. 


Global Touch Table

This cylindrical table topped with an acrylic projection dome allows users to touch various points on the globe display to generate projections from within. Three levels of content are available for each city on the map, which can be navigated by manipulating tabs projected onto the outer ring of the tabletop.


Using a combination of informative content and sleek design, this interactive display enhances this intimate lounge space, and serves to educate users on the connections of people and communities around the world.  


Pivoting Terrace Screens

These nine double-sided screens hang in a corridor, adjacent to a terrace lounge space. The screens pivot on a 180-axis creating a gentle ripple effect, as people walk through the space. 


The ambient rhythm of the screens’ movement is reminiscent of a light breeze- a nod to the nearby outdoor employee area. This digital installation ties interior and exterior architecture together, creating a unique atmosphere with ambient imagery and movement. 


Smart Content Management for Sustainability


In addition to the displays themselves, Réalisations had to consider the best plan of action for future content management of the installations. Réalisations developed a custom content management system (CMS), some features of which will automatically update content over time while others can be altered by on-site staff, without intervention from Réalisations or any other outside party to keep the information up-to-date and relevant. This allows the installations to remain current over the years, and for Sun Life to have the tools to freely refresh content.


By leveraging digital technologies, architectural elements and tailored content the Sun Life installations achieve a coherent identity, delivering a clear and confident message through digital interaction. The installations are forward-looking, and promote a sense of pride for employees past, present and future, creating a space that is uniquely theirs, while leaving a lasting impression on guests from outside the company. 


Realisations would like to thank Sun Life Financial for the opportunity to collaborate on this project.