2006 Skyscraper Competition
Edwin Liu, Nathaly Der Boghosian, Felix Monasakanian, Efren Soriano, Hugo Ventura
This project is an examination of the skyscraper typology being driven by financial and market forces. Reaching a maximum height of nearly 800 feet, the building performs as a revenue-generating billboard on an urban scale.
The envelope of the structure was generated to maximize advertising perception from key cultural and civic nodes throughout the surrounding context of the greater Los Angeles area. The invasive insertion of this massive entity into the downtown area alters or destroys existing sight lines and replaces them with corporately sponsored images. Living rent-free in the towering structure are residents that are participants in the performance of the building as advertising conduit.
The entity is composed of a swarm of pod-like enclosures, each creating a single pixel on the surface of the billboard. Essentially, this forms a giant low-res media surface. Each pod is terminated with a dome of electronic smart-glass that has the ability to change opacity and hue.
The dome also functions as the inhabitant’s only window out of the capsule. In coordination with RFID tags embedded in participating advertiser’s products, sensors within each pod determine the level of consumer activity that an individual produces. In a typical scenario, consuming more of the ‘correct’ brand clears the window to full transparency, removing the ‘pixel’ as a participant in the advertising façade.
Consumer inactivity or consumption of the ‘wrong’ products causes the smart glass to become opaque. The machine operating at full commercial potential produces a surface punctuated by transparent windows, while a machine operating below established market criteria will compensate by activating the surface with advertising.