Meet the Magicians Who Photograph Views of To-Be-Built Towers

Have you ever wondered where those glamorous view photographs of to-be-built towers come from? Just ask Curt Westergard, President of Digital Design & Imaging Service!

Founded in 1996, DDIS has become the can-do company for the residential and mixed-use development industry. Through the use of proprietary technologies, problem-solving skills and in-depth knowledge of the relevant regulations, the company helps capture those spectacular sunsets or never-ending panoramas that get buyers (and financiers) comfortable in committing millions before construction has started.

By flying special aerostat balloons to specific heights and taking panoramic photos, DDIS are able to capture actual views to allow salespeople to confidently represent that a specific apartment on a specific floor of a proposed tower will enjoy views of, say, Central Park or the Golden Gate Bridge. These images are not only critical to the sales of potential residences, but also to their design and pricing. Developers may orient living rooms toward a specific skyline element or charge more for apartments anticipated to have unobstructed river views.

Indeed, DDIS has become the “go-to” company for developers of skyscrapers and builders near major landmarks alike. They recently captured the images from the penthouse of One57, the new 900-foot-tall tower in New York, offering for-sale residences above a new Park Hyatt hotel, showing the remarkable south-to-north “long view” of Central Park. They were also the first to capture the views from the observation deck of the Freedom Tower at the rebuilt World Trade Center, and were recently retained for a new Pelli Clark Pelli tower in San Francisco, slated to be the tallest tower west of the Mississippi River. They have also been instrumental to developers and marketers looking to visualize their project with nearby landmarks, such as the White House.

DDIS’s technology has several other applications, including thermal scanning to allow property owners identify poorly insulated areas causing heat loss, simulation of proposed power line and wind turbines, or even estimating how many people show up at rallies or protests from the air – the most scientific method of doing so. Indeed, the company has become one of the main sources of crowd estimates on the Mall in Washington, DC.

The world’s most sought-after residences are not merely dreamed up by architects and purchased by starry-eyed millionaires. Those builders that create first-class property and want to represent the panoramic realities of their proposed skyscrapers retain Digital Design & Imaging Service.