Olympic Pavilion Brings Visitors’ Faces to Life in 3D

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Kinetic Facade Features 3D Portraits

A pavilion designed for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics will display the faces of visitors through a 3D kinetic façade.

London architect Asif Khan designed the 2,000 square metre pavilion and landscape for MegaFon, a national partner for the Sochi Winter Olympics and one of Russia’s largest telecommunications companies.

Khan is currently working with iart, which is developing the technology for the structure. iart says the technology has never been used for such a large-scale project.

Visitors are invited to have their photos taken at 3D booths stationed throughout the pavilion or at select MegaFon stores across the country. Five photos will be taken of each individual from different angles to accurately capture the face shape.

Make Your Own Olympics

Make your own Olympics

Within minutes, the photo images will be conveyed to the interactive façade, which will offer up a pin screen style rendition of the faces through the placement of 10,000 installed actuators.

Each actuator has the ability to extend up to two metres, while each face created will be eight metres high and six metres wide according to iart.

“Every actuator features a video-compatible LED sphere at tis tip, which in turn is attached to a while textile membrane covering the entire façade,” explained iart in a statement. “The resulting effect turns the pavilion into a Mount Rushmore of the digital age.”

Khan has also described the public concept as an opportunity to allow everyone to be the face of the Olympic Games, which aligned with MegaFon’s official Sochi 2014 tagline, “Make Your Own Olympics.”

Digital Mount Rushmore

Digital Mount Rushmore

Booth visitors will be told what time they will appear and the images will be streamed live on a website. According to iart, participants will also receive a personal, 20-second video which can be digitally shared with their family, peers and social media networks.

The MegaFon pavilion at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games will open February 7 and be relocated to Moscow following its two week stint during the games. In addition to the 3D portrait feature, the structure will also include an exhibition hall, hospitality areas, a rooftop viewing deck and an amphitheatre.

Khan and iart also worked together on the famous Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion for London’s Summer Olympics in 2012.

The Coca Cola Beatbox Pavilion was a fusion of music and sport, with the structure built to operate as a musical instrument allowing visitors to “play” the Pavilion. It featured over 200 red and white interlocking ETFE cushions sensitive to touch and movement.

Coca Cola Beatbox Pavilion

Coca Cola Beatbox Pavilion

Both installations represent a growing strategy for tourism landscape in which event spaces and installations are designed to encourage collaboration and interactivity.

In the case of the Olympics, visitors are encouraged to move beyond spectating to being participants through this form of architectural expression.

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Angela is a freelance architecture and design writer with an editorial focus on the commercial industry. Captivated by her travels and family history in urban construction, Angela is also a skyscraper enthusiast providing credible industry insight on the evolving vertical realm. At Sourceable, Angel...

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