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When we come across the word Media Faade, we think of over-dimensional screens, animated and

illuminated advertising, and also the places like Times Square, the Strip in Las Vegas and Hong Kong
which can be called the pioneers for this media architecture. This type of using media facades in
architecture can be called Mediatecture.
Mechanical Media Surface is the one where screens and lighting offer a change of three dimensional
perception of an immobile object. The first media faade of this type was made of mechanical display. It
was constructed using reflecting metal plates that are moved pneumatically. Then sensors and
movement of spectators are used to get naturally looking flowing movements. At Jean Nouvels famous
Institute du Monde Arabe, a mechanical media surface can be seen in the faade. Lattice windows with
blinds are used to react with the intensity of the sun, and the light shining on the building can be
In contrast to mechanical media faades, projections form an intangible content beyond the surface
onto which pictures are projected. There are two major categories of projections: frontal projection and
reverse projection.
Computer animated light installations:
Realities united is a forerunner in mediatecture and has gained its first international acclaim with a
media faade for the Museum of Modern Art in Graz. Realities united have given more significance to
outer shell. Ordinary ring-shaped fluorescent tubes in the space between the faade resulted in 930
gigantic pixels. When the founders of realities united realized that somewhat antiquated fluorescent
tubes could be easily controlled, the skin of the building became a screen.
The faade of Iluma Shopping centre in Singapore shows that an image or a text message require a
systematic matrix while the pixel elements can have any geometric forms. For the Iluma faade, crystal
shaped plastic tubes were developed that are arranged like a mosaic.
A large high resolution screen is effective in advertising but difficult to integrate in a faade. Realities
united solved this problem by conceding the high-end LED screen to the client for showing advertising
films in high resolutions. Special software analyses the moving images of advertising spots on the LED
screen and generate a colour reflection with reverse projection technique onto the curtains.
LED facades:
Illumesh and Mediamesh offer efficient ways to upgrade facades optically. Both are made up of a
metal mesh that is combined with LEDs. Illumesh uses LEDs in a way that there is reflection from the
mesh. Mediamesh uses LEDs that are closer together and that radiate outwards.
Stealth has been developed by the Creative Technologies for outdoor and indoor use but are
suitable for temporary installations. LED Interactive Tiles are interactive LED elements that react to the
location and movements of objects and persons using pressure sensor technology.
SmartSlab was introduced at the Architectural Biennale in Venice. It uses two bionic principles- the
honeycomb shape and the compound eye. The stability of honeycomb is a protection for the electronics
and makes the system robust; polycarbonate offers transparency and high mechanical stability all this
makes SmartSlab ideally suited for external use. The compound eye principle gives a better and clearer
picture imaging than other systems.
LEDs are going to be the future of media faade. The challenge for architects will quite simply be to
combine art and commerce.