MegaFaces Pavilion at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, awarded a Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Innovation. The first time either a Russian company or an architecture studio has been awarded this prestigious prize.
MegaFaces is a pavilion conceived for and built at the Sochi Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games which took place from February to March 2014. Our client was the Russian telecoms network MegaFon.
Project author and creative architect Asif Khan create an inclusive monument to people, regardless of their status as athletes or spectators, their age, nationality, sexuality or gender.
For thousands of years people have used portraiture to record their history on the landscape, buildings and through public art. We are a long way from the days of Mount Rushmore and the epic figurative sculptures of Soviet artists such as Vera Mukhina, yet these monumental depictions of our ‘heroes’ - whether Presidents or the aspirational ‘Everyman’ remain captivating to us.
Today the internet is how we record our history. “Emoticons”, “Selﬁes”, “Facebook”, “FaceTime” etc. have become universal tools for communicating, and the face persists as the prevalent shorthand in these new mediums.
Formed by 11,000 actuators, each equipped with full colour LEDs, the kinetic facade of the MegaFaces pavilion is able to transform in three dimensions to recreate the faces of visitors to the building.
Facial impressions are created once every minute and are relayed to the kinetic facade from multi-camera 3D scans made in proprietary instant 3D photo booths installed within the building and in locations across 30 Russian towns and cities. This fully automated process utilised a tablet-based registration app in the queue line to give each visitor a personalised QR code card, and therefore a personalised language experience within the photo booths. Each visitor received a SMS message with the time they would appear on the facade. Everyone received a live webcam link before their face was shown and recorded video was archived so that visitors, or people who participated but were unable to attend the games, could share their moment across social media.
The resultant portraits appear on the side of the building, three at a time, at 8 metres tall - a magnification of 3500% - larger, in fact than the Statue of Liberty’s face. The facade is able to display content with up to 2.4 metres of depth.
Client — Megafon / Agency — Leo Burnett
Project — Megafon Pavilion Case
Loosely inspired by the work and research of deep-sea expert Peter A. Rona, the piece abolishes notions of scale by contrasting micro-architecture with human construction.
Fascinated by the marks left by unknown creatures called Paleodictyon Nodosum, he offers the hypothesis that these hexagonal structures are designed in order to cultivate bacteria.
A modern day Captain Nemo, Peter A. Rona wanders relentlessly across the seabed looking to discover these living creatures, of which we only know of their mysterious geometrical makeup, reminiscent of the Centre Pompidou’s hexagonal shape frame.
Artistic direction by Simon Geilfus, Yannick Jacquet, Thomas Vaquié
Producer Nicolas Boritch
Visual content by Simon Geilfus, Yannick Jacquet, Romain Tardy
Music composed by Thomas Vaquié
Architecture Shigeru Ban (2010)
Project commissioned by Nuit Blanche Metz and Centre Pompidou Metz
Technical direction: Laurent Fink and Lumens8
Video filmed, directed and edited by Jerome Monnot
Additional camera: Sebastien Rabas, James Medcraft, Romain Tardy
Adrien Mondot - Conception, développement informatique et interprétation
Satchie Noro - danse
Christophe Sartori et Laurent Buisson - musique / création sonore
Elsa Revol - création lumière
Charlotte Farcet - dramaturgie
Alexis Lecharpentier - assistant développement informatique et technique
Jérémy Chartier et Hervé Lonchamp (en alternance) - régie générale et lumière
Laurent Lechenault - régie son
Coproductions, aides et soutiens :
Hexagone, scène nationale de Meylan
La Ferme du Buisson, scène nationale de Marne la Vallée
Elmediator, scène conventionnée musiques actuelles et arts numériques à Perpignan
[ars] numerica, centre européen pour les arts numériques à Montbéliard
Les Subsistances, laboratoire international de création artistique à Lyon
Le Théâtre de Création / Ville de Grenoble
Centre des arts, Enghien-les-Bains
Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / DICREAM
Conseil régional Rhône-Alpes
Conseil Général Isère
Ville de Grenoble
Présentation de l'exposition XYZT, Les paysages abstraits.
Quatre lettres pour décrire le mouvement
d’un point dans l’espace, et pour déployer
un territoire imaginaire. Paradoxes mathématiques,
illusions typographiques, métaphores en mouve-
ment dessinent les paysages de cette exposition.
Arpenter un espace numérique luxuriant, toucher
du doigt des algorithmes, éprouver la matière
de la lumière y sont autant de territoires imaginaires
à explorer. Un parcours comme la traversée d’une
nature revisitée. coïncidence entre géométrique
et organique, entre réel et virtuel.