Project: Uniqa Tower, Vienna – 2006

The new Uniqa Tower on Vienna’s Danube Canal has been outlined as a spectacular headquarter for a large company. During dusk and at night the 75m tall ellipsoid with its sharp edge is transformed into a luminous sculpture by means of an LED light installation.

Since it involved developing a differentiated staging concept for an existing building.The ellipsoidal, omnidirectionally viewable and perceptible building shape and its double-shell, naturally ventilated curtain wall has inspired a facade integrated lighting concept, that newly stages the existing architecture as a sculpture. Compared to classic interior and exterior façade illuminations or surface applied displays the Uniqa light installation takes the development one step further and presents itself as a novelty: It interprets the entire building volume as a screen, the building architecture as a panorama.

For this purpose a matrix of 160.000 individually controllable LED video pixels has been integrated into the facade structure. It fully embraces the more than 7.000 sqm large building surface. Apart from the video pixel profiles other required components, such as controller units, have been fully integrated into the existing façade elevation — to the effect that the installation cannot be seen from outside if not activated.

During the system’s operation on the other hand, the implanted light installation shows a directly outward effect. It emanates light from within, interprets the architecture, interacts with it, deconstructs it and reassembles it successively. It departs from the two dimensionality of a conventional laterally confined video screen by staging the architecture omnidirectionally. It integrates itself into the structure, connects the evasiveness of the images with the durability of the architecture, palpates the building envelope — silent and subtle, without beginning or end.

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