Asif Khan’s Kinetic Design in Sochi
Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Photos of Asif Khan by Michael Pisarri
Sochi Photos Courtesy of Asif Khan Studio
When we interviewed anti-starchitect Asif Khan last summer (and put him on the cover of our July 2013 issue), he told us all about his 2012 London Olympic Games installation, the logo-less Coca-Cola Beatbox pavilion, which he created with his fellow architect and former classmate Pernilla Ohrstedt. The building's angular design used more than 200 interlocking, touch-sensitive ETFE plastic pillows, programmed with individual audio tracks recorded by Mark Ronson, enabling visitors to "play" the entire structure.
Always one to top himself, at this year's winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the architect and his studio will unveil a giant pavilion with a kinetic facade that will create 3D images of visitors' faces relayed via digital face scans made in photo booths inside the building. The faces will be formed by 11,000 actuators sitting beneath the building's "skin"–a stretchy fabric membrane that will contort itself. The 3D faces that will emerge from the side of the pavilion will be bigger than the Statue of Liberty, and the magnification is at a scale of 3,500 times the original.
MegaFaces is, in effect, the world's first three-dimensionally actuated large-scale LED screen. "I think of this pavilion as a synergy between architecture and digital platform," Khan said in a release. "At the same time, it's a monument to all of us. The concept is to make people the face of the Olympics."
With this giant, digital Mount Rushmore rounding out Khan's always-growing list of accomplishments, it looks like it's about time to drop the "anti-" from that aforementioned label.