Facade with Many Faces

MegaFaces Temporarily Monumentalised Thousands of Olympic Visitors

The weirdest thing at Sochi? Your face on a giant screen of morphing pistons.
CNN, 21 February 2014

What You See

In the Olympic Park at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi: Visitors queue up to be photographed in 3D photo booths. A short time later, their faces are emblazoned on a facade as tall as a house. The portrait becomes a monument, and the visitors momentarily become part of the Olympic architecture. It’s a huge spectacle, and thanks to the enthusiasm of the people portrayed, it spontaneously spreads around the world via photos they take with their phones.

The sochi Olympic parc now boasts a magical white box that morphs into the shape of its visitor's faces, forming a kind of digital Mount Rushmore for the Facebook age.
The Guardian, 7. Februar 2014

What Happens Behind the Scenes

The 3D photo booths capture the facial data of the visitors and send it to the kinetic facade. 11,000 individually controllable and extendable actuators form giant three-dimensional faces, dramatically accented by translucent spheres with RGB LEDs.

It’s an attraction that spectacularly combines digital, sculptural, and architectural innovation.
German Design Award, Winner 2015

Development and Implementation

iart developed a complete interdisciplinary solution that ranged from the design and construction of a prototype to the integration of software and hardware to planning and implementation. The result: The world’s first large-scale kinetic facade, which helped our client, MegaFon, gain worldwide attention.

Summary

With MegaFaces, iart has proved that in the age of total media saturation, even the shape of buildings can also be changeable. New possibilities for communication between architecture and people create sensory encounters.

This monumental installation literally takes digital technology to a new dimension. I feel that I'm seeing the birth of a new design tool that will provide great creative opportunities for cultural and commercial applications.
SEGD, Honor Award 2014

Photos: Hufton + Crow, AXIS, iart

  • Opening

    2014

  • Location

    Sotschi

  • Client

    MegaFon

  • Partners

    Asif KhanAKT IIAtelier 10Axiscustomfuture SADavis LangdonProgressScott Eaton

  • Services

    Lighting DesignTechnical PlanningPrototypingSystem DevelopmentSoftware DevelopmentSystem IntegrationProcess ManagementRequirements ManagementMechanics DevelopmentOperation

  • Awards

    • D&AD Awards

      Graphite Pencil
    • Cannes Lions

      Grand Prix
    • ADC Annual Awards

      Gold Cube
    • Show All Awards
    • XAVER Award

      Award
    • The Globes – The MAA Worldwide Awards

      Gold
    • The Globes – The MAA Worldwide Awards

      Gold
    • The Globes – The MAA Worldwide Awards

      Silver
    • Media Architecture Biennale Awards

      Winner
    • FAMAB Award

      Gold
    • Swiss ICT Award

      Winner
    • German Design Award

      Winner
    • Red Apple International Advertising Festival

      Gold award
    • Red Dot Award

      Award
    • Iconic Awards

      Best of Best
    • SEGD Global Design Award

      Award
    • Golden Award of Montreux

      Gold medal
    • ADC Award

      Bronze
    • Golden Award of Montreux

      Finalist

Related Projects