05. May 2010

Once upon a time in the east
The City of Dreams in Macao/ROC

Text: Alison Ritter
Photos: Copyright 2009 Standard Vision, LLC

If you thought Las Vegas was the be-all and end-all of a gambler’s paradise, you should take a closer look at Macau in China. The history of Macau dates back to well over 200 years B.C., but it was not until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century that Macau began to develop as a major settlement. Their main source of income nowadays is tourism and gambling. When the City of Dreams, an urban entertainment complex in Macau, opened in June 2009 it set an optimistic tone for today’s global real estate market. The façade lighting underscores this optimism in a breathtaking media display.

The New York Times Business section reported on the City of Dreams project in an article entitled “New Casino Raises Hopes for Macau’s Fortunes”. The property, which runs along the Cotai Strip in Macau, is home to the Hard Rock Hotel, Crown Towers, and the Grand
Hyatt Macau, a mega-casino, a shopping center and theater complex. Exciting enough, you might think. But wait until it gets dark and view the complex in the urban landscape. StandardVision of Los Angeles have created a dramatic illuminated digital canvas, which stretches over four buildings. The wow effect is enough to leave the onlooker speechless.
The client, Melco Crown Entertainment, wanted to make the City of Dreams different than other hotel, retail and casino developments in the region, with the aim to reach out to a younger, more tech-savvy audience. StandardVision met Melco Crown Entertainment’s requirements, since the company has its roots in digital content creation for commercial clients. In the 90’s Standard Vision decided that there needed to be a way to construct and architecturally integrate “oversized media”. They also had the aim of putting together systems that were affordable for the client’s budget. Since then, they have completed four large-scale media facade projects. However, City of Dreams is the most ambitious to date.
After the schematic design phase StandardVision was presented with renderings completed by the architect, Arquitectonica, and the architectural lighting designers from L’Observatoire International, an architectural lighting design firm in New York City. StandardVision was then able to expand upon L’Observatoire International’s initial concept design. Adrian Velicescu, CEO and chief creative officer of StandardVision: “You have to have a media strategy from the beginning in order to design it right, and in order to apply the technology.” StandardVision looked at the concept as a group of buildings that desired a life of their own, that could talk to each other and create a media conversation piece. According to Velicescu: “There is no other comparable installation in the world”.
Before arriving at the complex, visitors to Macau approaching by ferry can see the buildings from a mile away. What first appears to be a beacon of light, becomes tall towers of light that seem to be talking to each other. […]

The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 71

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