LEA Professional hits new heights in Chicago
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
chicagoWillis Tower - the second tallest building in the Western Hemisphere
USA - 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 city’s best-known tourist attractions. When a tower client needed a powerful, flexible, and scalable audio system, USIS AV looked to LEA Professional.
The team at USIS AV was tasked with the AV design and build in two floors of the tower, encompassing over 90,000sq.ft. The floors are leased by a global coworking company who provide premium work, meeting and event spaces around the world and needed a multifunctional system that could meet the ever-changing needs of their clientele. The space in Willis Tower was designed to be re-configured 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.
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 ft 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,” commented Magarelli. “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, New York based USIS AV, IoT capabilities such as LEA Professional’s Cloud Platform are vital to providing exceptional customer care.
“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,” said Magarelli. “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 ten 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,” said Margarelli. “While we experienced some delays from other manufactures, 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 a special building,” said Joey Palkowitch, North America sales manager for LEA Professional. “It’s a thrill for us to have the Cloud Platform sitting amongst the cloud’s in downtown Chicago and we look forward to working with USIS AV on more projects in the future.”

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