From the hieroglyphic stone carvings of ancient Egypt to the French gothic statues of Notre Dame Cathedral, facades of buildings have always been the canvas on which stories are told. Fast forward to the 21st Century, the building material of choice for many architects and engineers in façade design has led to dynamic developments in technology and media. The age of glass has necessitated the advancement of media facades that create digitally interactive architecture, striking a balance between the aesthetic, transparency, and visual communication. Multi-faceted and multi-functional are no longer just ‘buzz words’, but essential design drivers in our modern world.
The digital revolution and evolution of “smart cities” have galvanized a new era of architecture – one where a multiplicity of powerful and connected systems, data generation, AI, and interconnectivity have forged a generation of information, both with regards to its consumption and communication. There is no grander or more impactful form of communication in our built environment than media facades. Evoking nostalgic feelings of the science fiction, made famous by Coca Cola advert on the side of a building in the 1982 Ridley Scotts epic “Blade Runner”, these futuristic displays have evolved beyond just a medium for static advertising.
From projecting brand identity to interactive architecture (linked to mobile apps), digital signage, and city integration displaying relevant information to citizens, the scope of application is limitless. One of the most intriguing aspects of a sophisticated media façade is its potential to transform architectural design at its core, affording architects a revolutionary tool from which they can conceptualize and bring to fruition dynamic and expressive architecture. Using both physical form and light as a medium, a new world of aesthetically beautiful design is opened. Architects can create buildings that change colour, alter perspective to compose spectacular illusions, and blend structures seamlessly into their environments. Architecture is transformed into a grandiose canvas in our digital cityscapes – the results only limited by the borders of our minds.
With over 2,000 installations worldwide and 36 years of experience in the LED industry OPTO TECH has developed a system which responds to the needs of architects and designers. From the visual impact to its clean aesthetics, versatile installation fittings, customizable products, and transparency – the company’s’ transparent LED technology ensures media facades are truly integrated into the architecture and not simply bolted on at the back. Bridging the digital world and urban space, OPTO TECH’s LED system allows a building to tell its story, creates a glow of excitement, piques the interest of pedestrians, and brings forth a new epoch of architecture.
Indeed, historically, the adoption of media facades into buildings has always meant a trade-off between the architectural aesthetics and the necessity for visible fixtures and components – while also limiting transparency for occupants of buildings. Traditional solutions such as video walls and metallic mesh with LEDs are both subject to these maladies and produce sub-optimal impact, particularly in daylight.
One Size fits none – OPTO TECH has forged its own path in the LED market. The Limitations of mass production and standardized displays have left architects in search of a solution that does not adversely affect or compromise the intended design. In response, OPTO TECH offers architects a bespoke and highly customizable solution that can be adopted in the initial design phase or installed into pre-existing facades.
3 LED fixture types accommodate typical façade structures: hidden frame curtain walls, frame curtain walls and point-supported curtain walls. These fixtures, outlined below, address the irony of media facades – TO BE SEEN, BUT NOT SEEN.
Stand-alone (for hidden frame curtain walls)
With no spatial limitations and a discreet supporting structure that holds the power boxes and allows the system to stand alone, the LED panels are installed behind the façade. This intelligent system ensures a clean and unobtrusive finish.
Affix (for frame curtain walls)
OPTO TECHs Affix LED displays are fitted and installed between existing façade frames and power boxes run vertically down the frames thereby underpinning the architectural intent.
Spider fitting (for point-supported curtain walls)
Spider fittings pose some unique challenges with regard to media facades as there are visible “points” that are unavoidable. In order to maximize the installation area, OPTO TECH produces custom panels and frames that negate any potential impact on the light effect.
Customization of OPTO TECHs LED displays to conform to a variety of curtain wall typologies is coupled with ease of installation and maintenance, making this the choice solution for architects and designers across the globe.
Numerous studies have shown the advantages of transparency and natural light in architectural design – greater energy efficiency and passive solar gains, an enhanced feeling of space, wellbeing, and openness while also increasing worker productivity. OPTO TECHs recommended pitch of 10mm↑ for LED displays provides transparency of 85% and ensures these benefits are not compromised in the design process.
This technology has an inherent advantage over mesh, strip, and bar media facades. Even when the media facade is operating, the view through the glass is clear. In contrast to conventional video screens that come into conflict with daylight harvesting of a building, OPTO TECHs LED displays allow natural light to flow through the screen. The daylight capability from its structural transparency ensures the see-through media facade does not obscure the scenic view of the outside world for occupants inside the building.
This transparency and the aforementioned adaptability to structure types have given architects a new reference point from which to design, free from the trade-off between aesthetics and function. Potential applications for landmarks, retail outlets, shopping malls, civic buildings, and sports venues are boundless as digital media transforms our cityscapes into dynamic moving canvases. Although it is doubtful that the playwright George Bernard Shaw had LED displays in mind in 1940, his words certainly resonate and apply – “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will”.
OPTO TECH offers a complete solution for a LED displays including, architecture, engineering, product, and software services together with installation anywhere in the world.
About OPTO TECH
Founded in 1983, OPTO TECH is the world-recognized LED manufacturer with over 2,000 installations worldwide. We have always been on the road of sparking new ideas in LED industry, offering high-quality and innovative products. With our strong team and profound experience, we believe we can brighten the world together with you. For more information, please contact the information below.
Mandy Lu, Director of Systems Sales & Marketing Dept..
Tel:+886-3-5638951 ext. 23602
Link to website: https://www.opto.com.tw/en/Default.aspx
Link to downloadable brochure: https://www.opto.com.tw/en/downloads/IRISin/IRISin_TransparentDisplay_3_en.pdf