Dubai has become known as the center of architectural excellence in the past decade, with builders tasked with creating elaborate, unique buildings that attract attention from miles away. One of the newest areas in the city to earn an eye-popping quality is the City Walk.
XYZ Cultural Technology of Montreal was tasked with the technical design and programming of a gigantic immersive installation for promoter Meraas along the 925,000-square-foot City Walk, with a mandate from Float4 to design, supply and program a control system for a series of multimedia shows.
The City Walk project uses 34 projectors, 300 lighting features, four motorized water-screens and 30 LED screens comprising 21 different formats to create this multimedia extravaganza on a surface equal to 12 football fields.
All the elements are connected by automated communication systems and operate around the clock in an arid outdoor environment. The installation uses 33 video servers and sends 100 million pixels of digital content, almost 23,000 feet of fiber optics and more than 108,000 feet of video cable.
A Colossal Undertaking
Dubai’s City Walk boasts designer stores, beauty salons, fine dining, entertainment and public art, making Dubai a premier urban lifestyle destination.
Meraas called on Float4 to create the content, programming strategy and technology infrastructure of City Walk’s public space, making it the world’s largest multimedia experience within a retail setting.
XYZ Cultural Technology’s experts designed and produced a robust system that allows continuous, perfectly synchronized operation of all the installation’s elements. XYZ is also operating and maintaining the system for its first year of operation.
The immense broadcasting and projection surfaces of varying dimensions, together with the specific format requirements of each medium, added to the project’s complexity. Beyond the considerable technical challenge this posed for XYZ’s specialists, the main difficulty was the communication among between the construction team and the various subcontractors, who hailed from 10 different countries.
“The contractors and installers were each delivering their part of the contract—building the structure, providing lighting, loudspeakers, projectors—but no one had been designated as a main contractor to oversee the work site, hugely complicating coordination efforts,” says Éric Cyr, partner at XYZ Cultural Technology and technical director for the project.
The fully automated, continuous broadcast of the Float4 content results in a totally immersive experience.
“The technical challenge of producing an installation on this scale was considerable, and our partners at XYZ Cultural Technology had the patience and attention to detail required to bring our vision of the final product to life,” said Alexandre Simionescu, co-founder of Float4.