21. Oct 2015

“Luminous creature” in the cityscape

Photos: André Klotz and Ayla Hibri

WZ Jardins Hotel in São Paulo/BR was originally built in the 1970’s.  The architects and landscape designers from Estúdio Guto Requena recently designed a new, interactive media facade for the building. During the daytime, the 30-storey hotel with its blue, gold and grey pixelated metal skin is highly visible within the urban landscape, a visual reflection of the soundscape of São Paulo’s iconic Avenida Rebouças. The soundscape is measured over 24 hours and translated into a graphic pattern that flows over the facade structure. After dark, the building becomes a communicative “luminous creature”. The facade is able to react in real-time to stimuli from the environment and passers-by by producing an impressive dynamic array of coloured light.

At dusk the metal skin is illuminated via 200 low-energy LED strips. Ambient noise directly affects the creature’s form and motion via microphones installed on the building. Another group of sensors measures the local air quality and changes colour accordingly. Polluted air gives rise to warmer tones such as reds and oranges. When the air quality improves, cooler colours such as blues and greens appear.

A mobile app allows the public to interact directly with the luminous creature in two ways: through touch (via a visual dynamic inspired by the classic “Game of Life”, a cellular automaton developed in the 1970s by the English mathematician John Horton Conway), and by speaking with the building, which registers sound waves on its facade.

The architects and landscape designers regard sound and air quality as being key to the quality of the cityscape. The interactive facade of the Hotel WZ Jardins reveals a future where buildings become hybrids of the real and virtual – buildings made of brick, glass and concrete that reflect the behaviour of city dwellers.

Project team:

Client: WZarzur
Design concept: Guto Requena
Architects: Estúdio Guto Requena – Julio Radesca, Lucas Ciciliato, Paulo de Camargo, Vitor Reis
Interactive facade and app: Ydreams
Lighting solution: New Energy www.newenergy.com


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