Sochi's 'kinetic façade' may steal the show at the Winter Olympics

The temporary pavilion for Russian telecom operator MegaFon will be wrapped with a massive digital "pin screen" that will morph into the shape of any face.

January 22, 2014 |

When the Sochi Winter Olympics kick off next month (Feb. 7-23) in Russia, the temporary pavilion for Russian telecom operator MegaFon is going to turn a lot of heads—literally. 

The company commissioned London-based designer Asif Khan to create a one-of-a-kind installation for the Games. Khan answered with MegaFaces, a 39-foot-high, illuminated façade that acts much like a giant pin screen, replicating the faces of people in the crowd in the form of a 26-foot-high, 3D mural. 

The kinetic façade will display three faces simultaneously, and each participant will receive a 20-second video clip of their experience via email.  

Here's how it works, according to a report by Dezeen: People step into a 3D photo booth to have their face scanned from five different angles.

Using the data, a computer creates a 3D model of the facial structure (in about a minute) and sends the coordinates to an engine-and-cable system that controls a series of actuators that make up the kinetic portion of the façade. Each one of the 10,000 actuators can extend out to lengths of six feet, allowing for the creation of dramatic, 3D murals. 

Don't believe us? See for yourself:


Read Dezeen's full report on MegaFaces.

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