Aspire Tower stuns with massive video screen
In December 2006, Color Kinetics completed the largest networked lighting system in its history: an 1,087 square meter (11,700 square foot) video screen that wraps around Aspire Tower, the tallest building in Doha, Qatar. The project was completed as the focal point for broadcast coverage of the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
The installation proved an excellent example of how Color Kinetics flexible, durable systems can produce low-resolution video on almost any interior or exterior surface where conventional high-resolution video screens might be impractical or cost prohibitive.
The 318 m (1,043 ft) tower’s façade is covered in wire mesh. Approximately 156,500 nodes of iColor Flex SL (now specified with Flex Compact gen3, RGB) were woven through the material to form a massive cylindrical video screen that’s divided into three low-resolution segments with 20 cm (8 in) node spacing and three higher-resolution segments with 5 cm (2 in) node spacing. Each node acts as an individually programmable pixel by incorporating Color Kinetics custom-engineered Chromasic microchip. Live coverage of the Asian Games was fed directly to the nodes via Video System Manager.
“The lightweight and flexible nature of Color Kinetics LED lighting system allowed us to create a truly unique, suspended video display that curves with the tower’s architectural design. It provided both a real-time medium for sharing the excitement of the Games, and a dynamic canvas for future video content” said Bassam Al Awar, MEP Manager on behalf of Midmac-Sixco JV, the project’s contractor. Color Kinetics can produce low-resolution video grids in virtually any form, including the transparent grid as installed on Aspire Tower. On top of the digital intelligence, its systems can create very durable displays that are able to withstand harsh climates and vibration without the bulk and weight of typical high-resolution LED screens.
Although its exterior is complete, the tower’s interior space opened in August 2007, comprising a luxury hotel, rotating restaurant and sports museum, among other amenities.