Our proposal was to create an iconic public artwork installation with an interactive facade to directly engage the general public, suggesting new ways of seeing, feeling and experiencing one’s own perception of one`s self.
Our vision was to give people the opportunity to feel free and explore new sensations. Creating a permanent installation on urban scale instead of a media façade.
Exploring the installation people can feel how the personal scale is expanded to the architectural scale. The result is an awe-inspiring experience of light, sound, speed and generative architecture that is directly related to one’s own body movements.
There is no option but to be playful. One can push aside Rain, ignite explosive Fireworks or touch the Aurora Borealis. Our aim is to breakdown people’s mental barriers, opening them up to participate by exposing them to the creative process.
Art, Code and Sculpture
The installation consists of three main parts; the 3D facade canvas with 6 layers of LEDs (covering 50 x 19 x 1.2 meters), the interactive LED outdoor podium (1.7 x 1.5 meters) with multi-touch sensors and the interactive and lighting control systems.
The public facing podium has a direct visual relationship with the facade creating an impressive but unifying experience. Stereo speakers flank the slanting podium, which delineates the space for expression. The podium senses 3D depth and provides a touch-less interface that transmits body movements, via live interactive programming, onto the 3D facade.
Each interactive show is based on natural phenomena that are designed to evoke a childlike engagement in adults; one forms a personal relationship with the experience that arouses different emotions in different people. Each show has a unique interface that intuitively steers you to express yourself. Much like a musical instrument, people generate their own composition but smart algorithms are working in the background ensuring a beautiful encounter.
The different shows provide a canvas for emotional expression and experience. The installation gives people magical powers to create situations that are normally reserved for fantasy.
The ‘Magic Dust’ allows you to throw and push luminescent particles through the facade with glittering sound effects. While with ‘Rain’, you can part the shower of light like an umbrella. ‘Sand’ is in an organic manipulation of the facade, where shadow and form drift as dunes, followed by the sounds of the wind and shifting sands. ‘Stars’ provide the remarkable opportunity to dream up your own constellations in the middle of a bright city, each star appearing with an acoustic chime. ‘Aurora’ provides the opportunity to touch ephemeral strands of plasma, the supernatural becomes tangible together with harmonic resonances. ‘Fireworks’ provides the opportunity to initiate spontaneous bursts of sparkles and colour, whistling rockets rush upwards in the background with explosions in the foreground. ‘Ripple’ is a melody of piano notes that generates psychedelic oil drops which collide and mix into new compositions. ‘Light Orchestra’ transforms the building into a musical instrument of violins and cellos, allowing the public to compose their own symphony.
The façade design consists of six layers of LEDs, the outermost using large Philips ArchiPoint nodes that are daylight visible; these are located on the end of 532 perpendicular poles in a 19 x 28 grid. The next five layers of LEDs are finer points of light, held in strings of ten LEDs using Philips Flex MX. There are two deliberate grids; one bright, bold and sparse for dramatic moments, the other concentrated and subtle for nuanced sculptural effects. In total there are 26,182 RGB addressable fixtures.
Is rectilinear, so when one shifts one’s viewpoint, the orthogonal elements recompose themselves into different visual forms. The façade content has been designed to take advantage of this optical illusion, producing beautiful iterative effects.
A slanting monolithic podium rises seamlessly from the plaza’s stonework, an array of Sensacell LED panels are diffused to provide an inviting but impressive representation of the facade at a human scale. Multi-touch electrostatic sensors detect a presence on the podium. A network of interactive servers remotely process the live input data, returning the interactive content simultaneously to the facade and back to the podium LEDs.
BCP Affinity is a permanent interactive art installation and reliability is vital since it represents the client’s image. The main servers run together with back-ups, which seamlessly replace their counterparts in an event of a failure. The corporate client can be assured that their installation is always ready to start according to their schedule.
Ultimately all the technology is designed to become transparent, leaving only a magical experience and feelings evoked by the encounter.
Within the City
BCP is situated on a busy junction and is visible across the city skyline. It stands out as a visual icon contributing to everyone’s experience regardless of their distance from the building, for example, its remarkable scale allows people to see animated stars in a metropolis.
BCP Affinity provides an escape for commuters across the city, whether on foot by the podium, or seeing, from afar, interactive shows generated by members of the public.
The idea was to also prompt the client to create a public artwork intervention that contributes to the wider urban fabric. And it is hoped that such key spaces could become a highlight for the extraordinary, as well as places for social participation.