A state-of-the-art, high-resolution LED video wall was recently unveiled at 350 Mission Street in San Francisco as part of a digital art show organized by Kilroy Realty Corporation.
For the event, titled “Virtual Depictions: San Francisco,” Kilroy Realty and the City of San Francisco commissioned acclaimed media artist Refik Anadol to create an immersive public art installation on the LED canvas. The show included a series of parametric data sculptures telling the story of the city and the people around us within a unique artistic approach. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee spoke at the event, introducing Anadol.
“I’m very, very satisfied,” said Anadol about the digital art unveiling. “Having a dynamic artwork and real-time data sculpture concept was a stress on the creation side, but in the end it fit perfectly for the City of San Francisco. This is the first time I have used such a high-end system.”
The LED video wall was installed as part of a new office tower developed by Kilroy Realty. The 30-story high-rise is located on the north corner of Fremont and Mission streets in San Francisco’s newest business district. The building is adjacent to the site of the Transbay Transit Center.
To ensure a successful project launch, Kilroy Realty engaged Project Consultant Sensory Interactive to oversee the installation’s design, technology selection, bidding, and project management. Sensory Interactive selected SNA, a LED lighting and indoor/outdoor LED digital video display provider, for the project based on the company’s ability to adapt to the project requirements and provide display hardware with the flexibility to meet the limitations of the physical space.
“Experiencing Refik Anadol’s work at 350 Mission highlights what can be achieved by properly programming a space and utilizing the most appropriate technology for the underlying architecture,” said Sensory Interactive President Randy Byrd. “It illustrates what is possible when an entire project team collaborates to deploy a truly integrated dynamic environment.”
The high-resolution LED screen features a 6 mm pixel pitch, meaning the center of each pixel is only .24″ inches from the center of an adjacent pixel. At 38’7″ high by 68’6″ wide, the installation consists of 2,643 square feet of digital canvas.
The interior LED display wraps around a 90-degree lobby wall corner. SNA designed and manufactured a custom corner module for the project, providing in a tight seam at the turn. The display includes 1,960 pixels high by 3,480 pixels wide including the side wall. The resolution of the lobby wall display consists of 6,820,800 pixels.
The architectural firm for the project was Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). The lobby was designed so that the LED screen’s content was accessible to viewers outside the building. Viewers from all corners of the intersection can see through the high glass walls of the lobby. Additionally, sections of the glass façade are designed to slide open so that people walking by can walk into the lobby space to catch a closer look.
“This installation shows the power of a large-format LED video display in an interior space,” said Mitch Leathers, marketing manager for SNA. “The video wall’s content will have an impact on traffic in and around the office tower for years to come.”
The interior video display features surface-mount device (SMD) technology. In this LED packaging method, the LEDs of each pixel are bundled together, allowing for crisp, clear imagery and a widened viewing experience.
Another benefit of this display system is the flexibility of inputs and compatibility with various content software products. This is particularly important for the 350 Mission video wall, as the installation will be used for various public art projects in the future.
“For the project, I needed to create a custom software and hardware setup in order to achieve some complex real-time graphics,” said Anadol, who is also a lecturer at UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts. “And the system was designed completely open-ended for possible creative inputs. It was extremely easy and user-friendly.”
The LED display system is capable of displaying 4K content natively, but the screen can also be segmented for a variety of looks and purposes. It can play a combination of animations, video, imagery and live data simultaneously. The system includes an audio component as well. Speakers are located throughout the lobby floor that work in concert with the video content.