FLOAT4 kicks off 2017 in Dubai with an all-new multimedia show that merges LED, video mapping, water-screen projection, digital canopy and sound experience. Meraas City Walk, a new outdoor retail shopping concept has now come to life thanks to over 100,000,000 pixels of digital content, spread over 30 exhibition areas, making it the largest digital deployment in the world integrated into a luxurious retail destination. Created by FLOAT4, a multidisciplinary studio based in New York and Montreal, this launch represents an unprecedented experience and strengthens Dubai’s position as a tourist destination. The development aims to bring a new dimension to the standard retail center found in Dubai by placing importance on the outdoor pedestrian experience.
City Walk is comprised of three interconnected zones: the Gateway (unveiled in June), the Showstreet and the Place des Lumières, each one a remarkable project in its own right. “We put a lot of effort into striking the right balance between the entertainment, architecture and advertising,” explains Alexandre Simionescu, Co-Founder of FLOAT4. “The entertainment side is delivered through multimedia shows that hit their apogee in the Place des Lumières, bringing the public into a playful and enchanting world. The Place des Lumières, the epicentre of these multi-sensorial shows, conceals a finely tuned audiovisual system that has been painstakingly integrated into the architecture to transform the space into a magical experience that delights and surprises visitors.”
“The architectural aspect invites us to consider digital content as a curated material applied to space. The challenge then is the ability to successfully transform our perception of the surrounding spaces by altering their visual identity. The creative process therefore greatly varies from one section to the next. In our view, while technology provides capabilities, creative provides its purpose.”
A digital immersion The Gateway, City Walk’s main entrance, features two giant LED screens 85 meters in length as well as a structure that serves as a digital canopy. City Walk is a space where visitors are immersed in a spectacular digital media world. The Showstreet, which connects the Gateway to the Place des Lumières, stretches nearly 100 metres and includes a ground projection provided by 12 high-definition projectors. This section can also be transformed into an interactive experience thanks to RealMotion, FLOAT4’s proprietary technology. Taken together, the structure is one of the largest interactive surfaces of its type in the world.
The highlight of the show, the Place des Lumières brings together over 20 projectors and more than 100 lighting features that result in a metamorphosis. The circular space is ideal for this audiovisual experience. At its centre, an artificial pond comes to life when four computer-controlled hydraulic arms emerge from the water. Each arm, equipped with a system of nozzles, create curtains of water on which projections are shown to heighten the surprise.
City Walk: unrivaled scale There is no other project in the world today that combines the scale and breadth of multimedia features as City Walk, and no other installation surpasses its size or number of pixels within a retail environment. The project, designed and produced by FLOAT4, also involved the participation of the firm XYZ Cultural Technology, which provided technological solutions, as well as Fly Studio and Gridspace, which both supported creative content production.
“Of course, the idea of the “biggest” and “most advanced” is constantly being redefined, especially in a place like Dubai,” concludes Alexandre Simionescu, “but this project remains a key milestone in our company’s young history, and we consider it the beginning of a new phase, not a culmination.”