São Paulo LED building façade shines a light on noise and pollution

8 pictures

The façade comprises a 30-story pixelated sheet of metal

View gallery - 8 images

A new reactive LED façade has been installed at the Hotel WZ Jardins in São Paulo, Brazil. The façade responds to sounds, air quality and people's interaction with a smartphone app. It is part of a project that explores the "Hacked City" and how technology can bring positive change to cities.

Like the façade at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, the design is based on data derived from the local area. The metal skin was based on the audio waveform of the surrounding soundscape over the course of 24 hours, showing the ebb and flow of city life.

The waveform was was then translated to a color-coded sheet of metal pixels that was subsequently wrapped around the 30-story building, rising upwards in a spiral. The blue, gray and gold skin provides a colorful intervention in an otherwise grey cityscape during the day.

At night, the building comes alive with 200 strips of low-energy LEDs rising up the building and interspersing illumination throughout the façade. The accompanying smartphone app allows users to interact with the façade by voice or simply by moving their fingers across the screen of their device, while different sensors cause the LED lighting to react to different stimuli in real time.

Microphones installed around the building pick up noise to which the movement and shape of the illuminated LEDs react. Air quality sensors, meanwhile, monitor real-time changes in the local air quality and these are translated into different colors of LED illumination. Warmer tones, such as red and oranges, indicate polluted air, while cooler tones, such as blues and greens, are shown when the air quality improves.

The new façade at the Hotel WZ Jardins was completed earlier this year.

The video below shows it at both daytime and nighttime.

View gallery - 8 images

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