Striking architecture overlayed with vivid, moving imagery can create something more powerful than the sum of its parts. Here we have rounded up some of our favourite, technologically adventurous building projections from around the world: from viral marketing campaigns, to crowd-pleasers at events, and awe-inspiring works of art.
Madison Square Garden’s Christmas Spectacular
We can, of course, rely on New York for raising the stakes when it comes to impressive light displays. The annual Rockettes’ Christmas Show’s 2017 production used multimedia to create a truly immersive experience. This annual Christmas Spectacular takes place in the Radio City Music Hall and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
The impressive show was further enhanced with 14K digital mapping technology. The projections onto the building’s proscenium arches were set against an LED wall — one of the largest 8K resolution LED screens in the world.
For 2017 the show’s technological enhancements included graphics in every production number. There were complete visual transformations of scenes such as the energetic tap number, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and the finale number, Snow.
National Trust’s enchanted festive lightshow
It seems the festive season is the perfect time for embracing all that AV tech has to offer. The National Trust created a stunning lightshow against one of their 18th Century country houses for the Christmas holidays.
The fantastic display of projections, lighting and special effects was truly enchanting. As well as the building projection, the walled garden was lit up, special effects made the entry gates appear frozen, there were coloured up-lights, feature lighting and static projections.
Our favourite part of this impressive display was the cleverly animated advent calendar, which used the building’s windows as the calendar’s doors.
Cambridge University 800th year celebration opening
Cambridge’s Senate House and Old School Buildings were brought to life with 50m-wide projections for the beginning of Cambridge University’s 800th-year celebrations.
The two buildings sit at right-angles to one another, and the nine-minute video loop was projected across them both. The projection — an image-based story showing key events and achievements in the university’s history, and featuring famous alumni like Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton — was created by Ross Ashton and commissioned by the Cambridge 800 committee.
iMapp Bucharest video mapping contest
iMapp Bucharest is the largest 3D video mapping contest in the world. The event takes place in Romania’s capital, and is organised by Bucharest City Hall. It entertains over 100,000 visitors every year.
iMapp Bucharest represents one building, more than 104 projectors used, 22.000 square meters of projection surface, over 2.000.000 ANSI lumens and one huge stage. The event consists mainly of two parts: a huge concert and a unique giant video mapping show.
The projections cover the facade of the Parliament Palace – the 2nd largest administrative building the world after the Pentagon in the USA. Participants come from all over the world to take part and create video works of art.
Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday projections
Whilst not strictly a building, we couldn’t resist including this projection in our roundup. As a mark of Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday, images of her were projected on the white cliffs of Dover.
The projections spanned 350 feet and entertained crowds who flocked to see the display. Dame Vera Lynn is affectionately known as The Forces’ Sweetheart, and the display featured scenes of forces planes and the Union Jack.
The National Treasure also released a new album, ‘Vera Lynn 100’ as part of her 100th birthday celebrations. The impressive display was covered by various mainstream media, and even featured on the BBC’s ‘The One Show’.
Disney’s Spaceship Earth becomes Mike Wazowski
Disney really pushed the boundaries with their Spaceship Earth projection at Epcot Theme Park in Walt Disney World. They transformed the giant golf ball icon into Disney Pixar’s Monsters Inc. character Mike Wazowski as part of the park’s “Monstrous Summer” kickoff.
It’s not the first time Disney have used projections on this scale to entertain the crowds. Their first foray into building-sized mapping was as part of their ‘Magic, Memories and You’ show where they created a Cinderella’s castle.
Like all things Disney, their Mike Wazowski was executed perfectly, using curved projections to complement the curvature of the 188-foot Epcot sphere.
Vancouver Bridge becomes virtual salmon run
Digital mapping isn’t just restricted to the sides of buildings. Canada Wild Productions recently projected onto the underside of The Cambie Bridge in Vancouver as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations.
The display uses eight 3DLP projectors and features a 25-minute video showing the migration of sockeye salmon. The cinematography is made up of footage from three B.C. rivers. Betsy Carson of Canada Wild productions described the Cambie Street Bridge as ‘a perfect viewing area where people can see down the length of the bridge and get the idea of a river.’
The creative and educational video display has been described as ‘really moving’ for audiences, and there was even applause and cheering at the end of the show.