Visitors to the Olympics in Beijing this summer can look forward to more than just history's largest sporting event and biggest national coming-out party (or, if you prefer, biggest airport or longest bridge). They'll also be able to glimpse the world's largest color LED display combined with China's first photovoltaic system to be integrated into a glass curtain wall. The GreenPix Zero Energy Media Wall, designed by New York-based architect Simone Giostra with solar technology by China's solar powerhouse Suntech, will form the curtain wall of the Xicui Entertainment Complex in Beijing, harvesting solar energy by day and using it to illuminate the screen after dark, mirroring a day’s climatic cycle. Its large-scale display, comprised of 2,292 color (RGB) LED light points, is comparable to a 24,000 sq. ft. (2.200 m2) monitor. Unlike the typical high resolution screens that increasingly plaster Beijing's facades with ads, starchy local news programs and corny animations, this screen will keep the resolution low -- catering to arty abstract visuals -- while keeping the carbon footprint low too. When it opens to the public in June, the facade will play host to a specially commissioned program of video installations and live performances by artists including Xu Wenkai, Michael Bell Smith, Takeshi Murata, Shih Chieh Huang, Feng Mengbo and Varvara Shavrova.
Aside from looking awesome, the project could prove to be a model in sustainable architainment in a country where outdoor visuals are huge and common, and green designs are desperately needed. Fortunately, the GreenPix isn't alone. Even if the "Green Olympics" prove to be a greenwash in some ways, Beijing is already showing off some of the world's biggest new green architectural projects, including the Watercube, the Linked Hybrid, the Olympic Athletes Center and the Olympic Village.
According to GreenPix:
With the support of leading German manufacturers Schueco and SunWays, Giostra and Arup developed a new technology for laminating photovoltaic cells in a glass curtain wall and oversaw the production of the first glass solar panels by Chinese manufacturer SunTech. The polycrystalline photovoltaic cells are laminated within the glass of the curtain wall and placed with changing density on the entire building’s skin. The density pattern increases building’s performance, allowing natural light when required by interior program, while reducing heat gain and transforming excessive solar radiation into energy for the media wall.
The new-generation showcase is a highly visible venue, both within the Beijing metropolis and internationally, and a powerful platform to display the work of emerging artists. Its high visibility will be conducive to interactive projects and artistic dialogue within and beyond China's borders. A compelling program of videos, installations and performances will be organized by a diverse team of independent curators, art institutions, galleries, media schools, corporations, collectors and benefactors, all lead by curator and producer Luisa Gui.
More details at the GreenPix website.
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