Manuelle Gautrand to Revamp Paris’ Alésia Cinema with Hundreds of LED “Pixels”

Facade Closeup. Image © KDSL

Renovated numerous times during its history, Gaumont-Alésia, a Parisian cinema housed in a structure that is over 80 years old, will now be revamped by firm Manuelle Gautrand Architecture. With a design that emphasizes filmography’s presence in modern culture, the Gaumont-Alésia is set to become an inviting cultural hub for the surrounding city, showcasing cinema’s influence on both the interior and exterior.

Both street facades will be composed of glass curtain walls shaded by pleated metal panels. These panels will be perforated by hundreds of LED “pixels” which will create an image across the pleats. Both entrances to the building become animated walls, broadcasting film stills, movie trailers, and advertisements, all meant to entice passersby.  The LEDS are spaced fewer and farther apart toward the edges of the building, creating a stippling effect around the border of the images. At the entrances these animated panels will peel upwards, creating a canopy under which patrons can walk.

Constell.ation / LIKEarchitects

© FG+SG – architectural photography

Architects: LIKEarchitects
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Project Team: Diogo Aguiar, João Jesus, Teresa Otto e Álvaro Villa, Tania Costa Coll
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: FG+SG – architectural photography

Lucid Stead: A “Disappearing” Cabin of Mirrors

© Steven King

In Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III has completed Lucid Stead: an optical illusion/ that modifies an abandoned 70-year-old homestead with mirrors in order to make it appear transparent. The cabin was also fitted with LED lighting to “extract the distilled experience of how light changes over time — how a mountain can be blue, red, brown, white, purple, and black all in one day.” As Smith stated, the project is about light, shadow, and tapping into the quiet of the desert. Check out more images and a video of the cabin after the break!

Building Transformed Into Giant Rubik’s Cube

For his thesis project, Javier Lloret turned a building into a giant, solvable Rubik’s Cube. Making use of the media facade of the Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, he projected the world’s most famous handheld puzzle onto a huge scale – inviting passers-by to solve the puzzle. In the process, Lloret transformed the nearby area, showing that (when used correctly) technology can make the urban environment more fun.

Read on to find out how Lloret did it…

Invisible Skyscraper Unveiled for Seoul

Infinity Tower / . Image Courtesy of

California-based GDS Architects‘ new proposal, dubbed Infinity Tower, is designed to disappear from its Korean skyline. How? Cameras will be mounted at six strategic points; thousands of screens on the facade will then broadcast the real-time photos captured and logged by the cameras. Though no estimated completion date has been announced, the developers have received construction permits to break ground. More about this incredible vanishing act and how it’s done at Fast Co-Design.

UVA Transforms Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Pavilion with “Electrical Storm” of LEDs

London-based United Visual Artists (UVA) has brought Sou Fujimoto’s “cloud-like” Serpentine Pavilion to life with an “electrical storm” of LEDs. With the intention of making the architecture “breathe” from within, UVA seamlessly integrated a network of lights into the latticed, 20mm steel pole structure that mimics the natural forms of an electric storm. In addition, carefully conducted auditory effects further enhance the experience, transforming Fujimoto’s “radical pavilion” into an electrified geometric cloud.

Light Matters: What Media Facades Are Saying

© Patrick Bingham-Hall

Light matters, a monthly column on light and space, is written by Thomas Schielke. Based in Germany, he is fascinated by architectural lighting, has published numerous articles and co-authored the book „Light Perspectives“. 

Today we have permanent media façade installations worldwide that call for attention. With size, tempo, colour and brightness they stand up as individuals within the urban nightscape. Many of them send out their luminous messages in a broadcast mode. For this reason, neighbours, on occasion, demand an intense dialogue with regard to content and form of the media façade, especially as it’s often unclear whether light installations are architecture or advertisement.

However, in the same way a good book requires a storyteller, demand curators to arrange exciting stories that fit into the site and suit the client. The following four examples show how reflect the story of the buildings themselves – see them all, after the break…

Origin / United Visual Artists

James Medcraft © 2011

Designer: United Visual Artists
Score: Scanner
Client: The Creators Project
Location: (2011) and San Francisco (2012)
Additional Audio Programming: Henrik Ekeus and Dave Meckin
Producer: Keri Elmsly
Photographer: James Medcraft

“Reflect” / Ivan Toth Depeña

Courtesy of Ivan Toth Depeña

Ivan Toth Depeña’s light-based “Reflect” was permanently installed in the Stephen Clark Government Center Lobby in Miami in November, 2011. Commissioned by the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places initiative, the work illuminates the dynamism of the lobby space and encourages a sense of discovery in the visitors.

Toshiba Milano Salone / Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane

© Daici Ano

Architects: Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane
Location: Milan, Italy
Project area: 534 sqm
Project year: 2010 – 2011
Photographs: Francesco Niki Takehiko, Daici Ano

Led Action Façade, Digital Façade for Medialab Prado / Langarita Navarro Arquitectos

© Miguel de Guzman
© Miguel de Guzman

Architects: Langarita Navarro ArquitectosMaría Langarita, Víctor Navarro
Location: Medialab Prado, Madrid, Spain
Collaborators: María Langarita, Víctor Navarro, Juan Palencia, Roberto Gonzalez
Client: Area de las Artes, Ayuntamiento de Madrid
General Contractor: Pecsa Teconsa U.T.E.
Engineers: Mecanismo
Consultant: Ca2l
Project Area: 144 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Construction Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Miguel de Guzman

Reconstruction of Kremlin Concert Hall / OTASH studio


Architects: OTASH studio
Location: Kremlin, , Russia
Authors: Dejan Otasevic, Ivo Otasevic, Uros Otasevic (designer)
Project architectural team: Slobodan Damjanovic, Pavle Bogdanovic
Associates: Nenad Peranovic, Marija Simsic, Dragana Mijatovic
Design Year: 2007
Project Year: 2008-2009

IMG_8579 IMG_8668 IMG_8885 panorama 3

Moodwall / Studio Klink and Urban Alliance

Media architecture collective Urban Alliance has recently finished the Moodwall: a 24 meter long interactive light in .

Tank Street Bridge or Kurilpa Bridge / Baulderstone Hornibrook Queensland & Cox Rayner Architects

Architects: Baulderstone Hornibrook Queensland & Cox Rayner Architects
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Design year: 2007
Construction year: 2008-2009
Structural Engineer: Baulderstone Hornibrook Queensland Pty Ltd and Engineers
Budget: $63,3 million

H&M Store in Barcelona / Estudio Mariscal

Edtudio Mariscal did a complete work for H&M in Barcelona: Architecture, , furniture, graphics… even the shopping bags.

Client: H&M
Architecture, interiors and graphic design: Estudio Mariscal
Location: c/ Portal de l’Àngel 22, Barcelona,
Area: 1.720 m2
Year: 2008
Contractor: Dula Bau
Furniture and commercial equipment: Dula Ibérica
Structural engineering: nb35

HQ 13 Parisian subway line / Atelier Phileas

Architects: Atelier Phileas (member of PLAN01)
Location: Malakoff,
Program: Head quarter room, technical spaces, Offices, meeting rooms, Renovation of the subway station Etienne Dolet, Urban lanscape
Consultant: CETBA
Constructed Area: 1,600 sqm
Budget: 4.5M Euro + tax (US $5.67M + tax)
Project year: 2006
Photographer: Stéphane Chalmeau, Frédéric Delangle

Le Prisme / Brisac Gonzalez

Architects: Brisac Gonzalez / Cécile Brisac & Edgar Gonzalez
Location: Aurillac,
Collaborators: Olivier Herman, Christopher Pfiffner, Margarita Bescos, Fumiko Kato, Henrike Rabe, João Baptista, Nicolas Ecrepont, Tea Puric, Afroditi Kirmi, Aitor Albo, Jean Dumas, Gerd Wetzel, Anke Schulz, Franck Quintanel
Client: Communauté d’agglomération du bassin d’Aurillac
Project year: 2004-2006
Construction year: 2006-2007
Construction Area: 5,265 sqm
Structure: VP Green
Theater Consultant: Ducks Sceno
Acoustics: Xu acoustique
Services: INEX
Photographs: ©Binet

GreenPix: Zero Energy Media Wall

The 2008 Olympic Games aren´t just a gathering of athletes, it´s also a showcase of the most innovative buildings and technologies like GreenPIX, the Zero Energy Media Wall by Simone Giostra & Partners and ARUP, pictured above.

This curtain wall covers the front of the Xicui entertainment complex in Beijing, near the site of the 2008 Olympic Games. It features the worlds largest color LED display, powered by a photovoltaic system integrated into the glass curtain wall.

This Media Wall will showcase a selection of specially commissioned video installations and live performances by artists from China, Europe and the US, starting in May. Pictures, construction progress, diagrams and videos after the break.