"Ornamental and granulated light and media façade"
‘UEC Iluma' Prototype 2008, Photo Courtesy Of: realities:united
"Conceptually, Crystal Mesh is a “bastard”. Its function and design recall historical ventilation façades, the modular façade designs of the 1960s and 1970s, and the analog light-bulb aesthetic in the entertainment districts of the 20th century. At the same time, it also contains the “futuristic” concept of the monitor as complete
The original idea of the commission—the façade as monitor—is simultaneously realized and obstructed by the modular and crystalline façade system. The large-format structure of the polycarbonate crystals can depict only 75 percent of the underlying matrix; the “monitor” is thus “perforated.” In addition, the surface of each individual “pixel” is severely distorted by the modules’ idiosyncratic geometry."
‘UEC Iluma’ Scale Model 2008, Photo Courtesy Of: realities:united
"Crystal Mesh consists of a tessellated pattern made of 3,000 modules of deep-drawn polycarbonate covering a façade area of more than 5,000 m2. About 1,900 of these modules contain a regular matrix of compact fluorescent light tubes forming “active patches” within the façade. At night the light matrix superimposes the idiosyncratic physical structure of the white, crystalline daytime façade. But the irregular arrangement of these patches— dividing the façade into areas with different resolutions—does not create a large, homogeneous screen in front of the building, but instead forms a more general impression of the building’s “media-ness” as a surplus to and an essential ingredient of its architecture."
‘UEC Iluma' Scale Model 2008, Photo Courtesy Of: realities:united
"The central idea of the design is not that of a monitor, but of a façade with changeable expression. Accordingly, the active (night) appearance and the (day) appearance have equal rights in the design. The façade sends light signals during the day, as well: reflections of sunlight in the folded aluminum reflectors of the polycarbonate modules. Crystal Mesh eludes the problem of competition with ever-better and less-expensive LED façades, which will appear in the future as a part of the city zoned as a new nightlife district. This façade defines a class of its own in distinction from the conventional LED monitors that outdo each other at ever shorter intervals. Its urban scale and idiosyncratic degree of abstraction create an unmistakable expression.
Turning away from the idea of the monitor is also reflected in the development of new artistic content. This process initiated with Crystal Mesh ultimately aims at the installation of an architecture that is as dynamic as it is specific. On this façade, normal films or animations are difficult to screen; special contents must be created for it. As already in ≥BIX, a special software enables artists to develop, program, and test works of their own directly on the building—i.e., in the three-dimensional urban space. The special author and simulation software functions in real time, so that artists can alter their works at the same time as they are traversing the simulated cityscape as observers."
Client: Jack Investment Year: 2009
Project team: Mason Juday, Gunnar Krempin, Daniel Mock, Stefan Ludwig Neudecker, Malte Niedringhaus, Hendrik Poppe, Christoph Wagner, Markus Wiedauer, Christoph Witte
WOHA design (architecture),
Timm Ringewaldt (video artist)