Chicago Flyhouse Blog

Macy's Flag Raising

Posted by Flyhouse on May 26, 2017 12:00:26 PM

While the tradition of having a flag hang in Macy's (previously Marshall Fields building) atrium began in 1916, Chicago Flyhouse has assisted in making the flag happen since 2003. Hanging over seven stories high, the flag is an amazing site to behold. See the video below to get a quick glimpse of how we made it happen.



Topics: Hoist, Video, Project Recaps, Flyhouse Projects

Next Stop: Detroit

Posted by Flyhouse on May 12, 2017 9:14:14 AM

The Motor City. Birthplace of Motown. Home to the only floating Post Office in the U.S. Call it what you want, but Flyhouse is setting up shop for a few months in Detroit for a new arena project.

The Little Caesar’s Arena, scheduled to open September 2017, will serve as the new home of the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons, and other entertainment events.

By the time the puck drops for the Red Wings, Flyhouse will have installed over 100,000 square feet of horizontal and vertical acoustical lapendary panels along with the upper masking, half-house, and blackout curtains for the entire arena.

Make sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages to see updates on all Flyhouse projects happening.  

Little Caesars Arena

(Photo Credit: Olympia Entertainment)

Topics: Acoustical Baffles, Acoustical Curtains, Project Recaps, Arenas

[Q + A] In Sight Sign Company

Posted by Flyhouse on Apr 19, 2017 4:38:10 PM

In Sight Sign Company Banner

In Sight Sign Company has been part of the sign and vehicle wrapping industry for years. It's no surprise our businesses have crossed paths and a solid working relationship was formed on the basis of one local business helping the other. We had the opportunity to talk with company owner Chris Zwirn about the sign industry.

Why did you choose Chicago as a home for the company?
Chris: I was born and raised in Chicago. I love this city and would not leave it…short of moving to a small tropical island.

Part of the relationship you have with Flyhouse is an old-school business mentality of bartering services, explain why this works.
Chris: I always try to help others out where we can. Whether it’s discounts for smaller startups or lending a hand here and there, it seems to come back full circle. I’m not sure I would call it bartering rather than helping a friend where we can.


"...or lending a hand here and there, it seems to come back full circle."


Being in the business you are in, it’s easily understood you have received some interesting requests. Is there any that stand out?
Chris: We have wrapped everything from toilet seats to shuttle buses. We wrapped the beer silo for Cobra Lounge and Flyhouse helped tremendously by providing a lift for us to use. It allowed my guys to go up 30-40 ft. It was a fun one that went off flawlessly considering the difficulty level of the install.

What has changed for a sign company likes yours over the last decade?
Chris: I started with a 24” vinyl cutter. Now we have two 64” latex printers, a 64” eco-solvent printer/cutter, and a 104” wide format banner printer. The sign business went from sign painter to vinyl cutter, and now we are at the wide format printing stage. Oddly enough, sign painting is having a nice resurgence for the few guys that stuck it out and survived the technology revolution.

What is the best success story from a business that used your services? 
Chris: Hands down, New City Moving. Brian [owner] originally came to us with three trucks to wrap. As of last week, we wrapped truck number 65 for him; not counting his vans, pickups, and smart cars. He’s about to have a grand opening for a new hub and is opening a warehouse for storage in Northbrook. He’s always had high praises for the wraps because he tracks where his leads come from and overwhelming it comes from people seeing their trucks on the street.

You post almost daily on Instagram. What type of posts do you find get the most attention?
Chris: Wrapped Corvettes and my cats.

In Sight Sign Company Building

Chris Zwirn (Owner) - In Sight Sign Company 
In Sight Sign Company specializes in creative, high-quality and affordable business signage solutions for customers of all types and in all industries. We dedicate ourselves to a responsive customer-first approach in all of our services, and guarantee that we will exceed your expectations every single time with the signs that we produce for you. In Sight Sign Company is your source for vinyl signs, banners and car wraps in Chicago.

Topics: Q+A, Project Recaps

Shirley Ryan Ability Lab: One Step At A Time

Posted by Flyhouse on Apr 18, 2017 10:27:23 AM

Light shimmers off the glass on the 19th floor of the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. A patient in a harness walks up the grand staircase with a slow, but unfaltering pace while a physical therapist monitors progress. It’s a new way of rehabilitation that proves recovery is truly one step at a time.

Taking a concept regularly used in the entertainment industry, Chicago Flyhouse designed a three-dimensional flying system bringing the above scenario to reality.

In past methods, patient recovery took place in environments more likened to a gym atmosphere. The patient would get on a treadmill or a stationary bike to mimic real-life scenarios. The Ability Lab looked to Flyhouse to break free from the typical and understand the true needs of a patient.

The two key elements of the design process were creating an environment where patients comfortably recovered without impugning the overall aesthetics of the room and taking the machine feel out of a system.

Ability Lab Staircase

The Strength and Endurance Lab integrates multiple stations where patients are asked to complete a different series of tasks whether it be maneuvering through an obstacle course or climbing a staircase.

Flyhouse designed a custom track that goes from the ground level to the landing of a staircase. It is there a patient transfers to the three-dimensional rig connected to Flyhouse’s system that follows the patient up and down the stairs. The physical therapist regulates the rate of speed with an ergonomically designed handheld wireless controller while another can monitor on a control panel located at the bottom of the stairs. If a patient were to lose balance, they instantly would hover securely in place in their harness.

Ability Lab Track

Integrated over three floors of the Ability Lab, the system is noticeable only by the four-points connecting from the ceiling to the spreader bar above the harness. The four motors used to operate are hidden and noiseless. In essence, Flyhouse took the machine out of it like promised.

Ability Lab Lines

By adapting a unique solution from Flyhouse’s specialty to better solve another problem, thousands of patients each year are beginning to forge a path to recovery in an environment befitting to them. 


 Click here to watch this video on the AbilityLab Harness System on YouTube

Topics: News, Performer Flying, Project Recaps, Flyhouse Projects

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Ability Lab: Part One

Posted by Flyhouse on Mar 14, 2017 9:36:05 AM

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is a world-renowned medical center that specializes in the treatment of patients with debilitating issues through a model of integrated research, education and care. Each year, thousands of patients seek assistance from RIC to strengthen a part of their life and become whole again.

The previous location of RIC proved challenging in the center’s drive to provide more specialized care to accelerate the recovery process of its patients.

A decision was made to build a state-of-the-art center integrating the latest advancements in technology combined with the ability to conduct research all under the same roof. The building is 480 feet tall and provides 1.2 million square feet of floor space, including 800,000 square feet dedicated to clinical/research programs – nearly three times the current research space. The overall hospital is designed around five innovation centers and five differentiated labs including:

  • Think + Speak: "Speech & Cognition"
  • Arm + Hand: "Fine Motor"
  • Legs + Walking: "Gait & Locomotion"
  • Strength + Endurance: "Total Body"

RIC exterior

Within the new building, pioneering technologies are front and center.

In the Strength and Endurance Lab, patients are regaining their ability to walk by strengthening core muscles within the body. What if a system could be created where a patient could safely move around the room and climb stairs knowing they are secure the entire time while a physical therapist controls all of it using handheld wireless controller?

Chicago Flyhouse came into this project originally as a pro-bono consultant to examine existing challenges within the proposed solution already given to RIC and provide suggestions on creating an aesthetically pleasing product. It became apparent the look and overall solution would impugn on the aesthetics of the venue.

“The amount of structure to support it [first proposed solution] on the staircase would have made it feel mechanical which was not the overall goal,” said Mark Witteveen, founder of Chicago Flyhouse. “The goal was to not make it look like a machine and they [RIC] felt it wouldn’t be true to the environment they were trying to create.”

After a few months of consulting, RIC asked Flyhouse this question: If you were to create your own solution from scratch, what would it be?

Flyhouse's solution will now become the first of its kind in any hospital setting in the United States.


Topics: Performer Flying, Project Recaps, Flyhouse Projects