Buildings Alight !

Buildings Alight !For years, signs have appeared on building walls and roofs. More recently, vinyl wraps have scaled alpine heights as they cover building walls. Now, LED videoscreens can completely cover building façades and present kaleidoscopic images that dance across the building.

Built as part of the building's cladding, or "skin," dynamic videoscreens have given architects a new theme that enables them to "display" buildings' corporate identities on a large scope

Videoscreen cladding is a victory for both architects and advertisers. LEDs' flexibility almost pre-ordained their architectural surface application. Also, programmable light and video shows, which represent tenants on their own building façades, answer their deepest advertising needs. Even building owners benefit from additional revenue and acclaim as a tourist destination.

Currently, at least a dozen skyscrapers worldwide have embraced LED videowalls.

Perhaps the most spectacular video cladding has been applied to the Grand Indonesia Tower in Jakarta. The 3.7-million-sq.-ft., mixed-use center, which is still under construction, features retail stores, a hotel and, as its centerpiece, a 57-story office tower.

The building was created by Darryl Yamamoto, AIA, director of Austin Veum Robbins Partners (AVRP) and Mixed Use Studio, both of Los Angeles (AVRP also has a San Diego office). Yamamoto was formerly with RTKL, where he designed the project.

"Essentially, the LED grid followed the form of the building's curtain wall," Yamamoto said. "Thus, the LED video strips were mounted against the building in several types of formations. In some instances, where there was glass, the LED video strips were placed inside the glass, facing outwards towards the public. Where there were opaque, metal panels on the building skin, the LED strips were recessed into reveals."

The tower's entire, front façade is covered with at least 60,000 sq. ft. of LED arrays. The 96-ft.-wide x 420-ft.-tall screen comprises approximately three-fourths of that space. The building crown and side walls will also feature LED lighting, which will draw attention to the front of building displays.

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