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Digital facade abril 28, 2008

Posted by christian saucedo in Articles.



Digital Facade

Mariana Yordanova


Urban space in increasingly dominated today by buildings with media facades consisting of large animated screens (Ill. 2). In the past, traditional billboards impaired the lighting and ventilation of the internal spaces to the rear. A new system created by the G-LEC Company, in contrast, has a coarser pixel grid and allows visual contact between indoor and outdoor space, while still ensuring adequate resolution for the images. In this way, video quality can be combined with transparency.

What differentials the new digital “outdoor” façade surfaces from the familiar large-scale monitors? Light-emitting diode (LED) displays are available in many different forms, but the operating costs are usually very high, since the creation of images requires a great number of diodes. Large screens and the density of diode clusters also result in higher energy cost. The new technology, in contrast, with pixels seat at a certain distance to each other, requires less power, while nevertheless offering a high degree of transparency and a visual quality that is quite adequate for public spaces. Pixels in perspex tubes at 30-60 mm centers create a transparent matrix of red, green and blue clusters. These consist of several light diodes fixed to a common bearer. Triple diode clusters in red, green and blue can created all the required colors, which means that the systems is suitable for video and animation. The individual clusters are mounted on neutrally coloured bars 8 mm wide and of any required length.


Since there are no opaque areas between the individual clusters, it is possible to see through the surface between the tubes. Laid out usually at 60 mm centers, the specially manufactured LEDs radiate light at an angle of 180º and are thus visible both frontally and the side. This radial projection of light means that the voids between the red, green and blue clusters are not visible. In this way, a homogeneous appearance is created. The resolution is determined by the distance between the individual pixels. The distance from the observer is also an important factor. The further away a person stands, the smaller the spaces between the pixels appear to be and the more detailed the image will seem.


In its classical form, the system consists of one or more modules. A filigree module weighs up to 10 kg per square metre and can have a transparency of more than 70 per cent (with a pixel spacing of 60 mm). the individual modules are precisely positioned in accordance with the visual signal they give.


The data processing within the system is thus located in the modules. The electronics for operating the systems are housed invisibly in the frame, where they are protected against the weather. The media skin can be designed to meet various needs: for digital artistic projects, as advertising surfaces, or purely as a lighting area. A special application of this technology was developed for the BMW World in Munich.


The sustainable media façade system is a further extension of this technology. It adapts the design advantages of the transparent LED wall to the climatic and energy needs of a building, and I can be extended by further functions. For example, it can take de form of sunshading louvers fitted with photovoltaic elements. The modules can be turned through 180º and perform different functions during the day and the night. The photovoltaic elements can also generate the entire energy needed to operate the media façade. The LED elements heat up to only a limited degree and are resistant to impact and vibration.


They have a life of more than ten years.

A patent application has been made for the system, which will be brought on the market in 2008 under the name of MediaBIOSe, and a fully functioning prototype will be presented at the trade fair “Light and Building”. By making new means of communication available for innovate façade design, the system represents a symbiosis of media technology and architecture. Depending on the time of day, the louvers change their appearance. During the hours of daylight, they form a building skin with a design texture; in the evening, this is transformed into a digitally operable media surface in the urban environment. The transparency of the screens also means that the silhouettes of people inside the building are visible on the outside. In this way, the real world and digital images are overlaid.






Digital Facade

Mariana Yordanova

p. 1500



47 . Serie 2007 . 12 Digital Details

ISSN 0011-9571

B 2772

Christian Schittich




Fig. 1 Vienna Music Festival, 2007

Fuente: http://www.ledsmagazine.com/news/4/6/38/GLECVienna1


cómo citar: YORDANOVA, Mariana “Digital facade” DETAIL 47 . Serie 2007 . 12 Digital Details


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