Monday, 27 October 2008

Twists and Turns

A while ago I went on about the building business being a team sport. Now I saw this incredible building and those thoughts came straight back to me.

This is the UNIQA Tower in Vienna, designed by Austrian architect Heinz Neumann and completed at 2004. It sits on a canal and creates a physical link between the city's old and new sections. According to the architect, “the building shoots up spiritedly, emotionally, opening out and almost playfully. Its shape absorbs the impetus of the UNIQA logo and transforms it into architecture, with interior and exterior openness dominating.” Its a good looking building when it was finished but it wasn't as incredible as it is today.

What makes the tower amazing is the LED light installation which transformed the tower into a landmark in Vienna thanks to its interactive facade. Completed 2 years later, the installation is designed by lighting designers Licht Kunst Licht, installed by LED display manufacturer Barco, with German digital artists Mader Stublic Wiermann working on the artistic animation.

The facade's double skin allowed for the placement of the LED modules that receive electronic data on the structural grid, creating interplay between the architectural and technical elements of the facade. Thus, the building is not a giant electronic billboard like the ones you see in Manhattan or Las Vegas; it is a "constantly modulating architectural form." First, the electronic data corresponds to the architectural structure of the tower, but then it twists and turns repeatedly to detach itself from the concrete shape of the building introducing new virtual layers that dynamically interweave with each other.

Here is a cool video on YouTube and here you can find more colorful images.

For more info check out this and this.

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