2014 Sochi Winter Olympics to Feature Giant 3D Pinscreen of Your Face

Visitors to this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics will have the opportunity to see their face rendered on the side of a building in giant 3D mechanical polygons. The work of British architect Asif KhanMegaface is like a cross between Mount Rushmore’s sculpted facade and the pinscreens that adorned executive offices of the ’90s.

The design of a 2000 sq.m pavilion and landscape for MegaFon, one of the largest Russian telecoms companies and general partner of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

3D photo booths within the pavilion and across Russia in MegaFon retail stores will scan visitors’ portraits to be recreated in by the pavilion. It’s facade is designed to function like a huge pin screen. It is made up of over 10,000 actuators which transform the building’s skin into a three-dimensional portrait of each visitor’s face.

The concept is to give everyone the opportunity to be the face of the Olympics.

The structure is sited at the entrance to the Olympic Park, and incorporates an exhibition hall, hospitality areas, a rooftop viewing deck and 2 broadcasting suites.

The installation consists of 10,000 actuators fitted with LEDs and arranged into triangles that can extend up to six feet out from the side of the building to form 3D shapes. Visitors will be invited to have their face scanned at on-site “3D photo booths” before Khan’s actuators will move to form giant 500-square-foot representations of the scans. Three faces will be shown at any given time for 20 seconds, and it’s estimated 170,000 faces will be rendered during the games. Visitors will also be given a link where they can watch a 20-second video showing the exact moment when their face was on the side of the building.


Megaface will comprise one side of Russian carrier Megafon’s pavilion — the installation’s name itself part of the massive branding exercise that is the Olympics. It’s some way from completion, but Khan and Swiss firm iart, which is realizing Khan’s vision, have successfully demonstrated a prototype (shown below) that uses just 1,000 actuators to render a small-scale image.

[Asif Khan via Verge]

The Kinetic Facade of the MegaFaces Pavilion: Initial Batch Test from iart on Vimeo.

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