The headquarters of Banco del Crédito de Peru (BCP), the country's largest and oldest bank, is a prominent structure in the Lima skyline and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Lighting designers Claudia Paz and Nicholas Cheung recently used Philips Color Kinetics lighting solutions to update the building's exterior façade with a large interactive public art installation. This new canvas forges a unique connection between the bank and community by engaging city dwellers and creating a space for social participation for people of all ages.
In 2014, BCP wanted to update the look of their headquarters to celebrate a modern and progressive Peruvian society and to symbolize their new brand identity of openness and transparency. BCP commissioned designers Paz and Cheung to translate these themes into a lighting design that would complement the glass wall that architect Felipe Ferrer designed for the building's exterior. "Our vision was to give people a new way of seeing, feeling, and experiencing their perception of self and the freedom to explore new sensations," said Paz. "We wanted to create a permanent installation on an urban scale instead of just a media façade."
The result of the collaboration was BCP Affinity — a three dimensional façade — that consists of an LED canvas, an interactive LED outdoor podium with multi-touch sensors, and an interactive lighting control system.
The three-dimensional façade consists of six layers. The outermost layer features Philips Color Kinetics ArchiPoint iColor Powercore, daylight-visible, exterior-rated LED points of light. Each fixture (532 in total) is secured to the end of a perpendicular pole in a 62 ft x 92 ft (19 m x 28 m) grid. Philips Color Kinetics iColor Flex MX gen2, flexible strands of high-intensity, full-color LED nodes, compose the remaining five layers. The result is two distinct grids—one bright, bold, and sparse for dramatic moments, and the other concentrated and subtle for nuanced sculptural effects. In total there are 26,182 individually addressable nodes.
To enable interactivity with the façade, Paz and Cheung created a podium of LED panels that mimics the façade on a smaller scale. Passersby choose from eight interactive shows that use both light and sound. Multi-touch sensors detect when the screen is touched triggering a network of interactive servers that remotely process the live input data. The content, which includes such effects as constellations, fireworks, and rain, then simultaneously appears on both the façade and the LED podium.
"Each show intuitively steers people to express themselves," says Paz. "Seeing this conversation between a person and light, in my mind, is magical!"