ArKaos continues to expand its work and partnerships in the ‘architainment’, architectural and commercial creative media installation sectors … on a recent project in the International Terminal at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport. This is a collaboration with lighting and visual designer Koert Vermeulen of creative agency ACTLD. The power and flexibility of ArKaos’s Kling-Net control protocol and Kling-Force LED interfaces have been harnessed to bring dynamic control to a 30,000 pixel video and kinetic sculpture which runs above the main travellator leading from the jetway to the baggage reclaim hall.
ACTLD was commissioned by Toerisme Vlaanderen (Flanders Tourism) to design, specify and supervise the production. For the installation, integrators Create won a public tender to deliver the project based on ACTLD’s specifications.
ArKaos and ACTLD have partnered on several previous projects, and ArKaos managing director Agnes Wojewoda commented, “We work with a number of production companies and designers and were very happy to co-operate with Koert again on such an imaginative installation. His pioneering work in the creative media field really pushes our technologies and these are the challenges we love!”
The animated installation is 100 metres long and a combination of low and medium resolution LED strips and panoramic video panels in the ceiling, fitted above a special kinetic fabric.
A loop of content runs on the display 24-7 in this tough and demanding environment, giving all passengers arriving into the main International Terminal ideas and a glimpse of what they can expect and do in the region as they walk through to get their bags. Literal content appearing on the main video panel displays is processed into more abstract animations running through the length of the installation, retaining the same colour, tonality and continuity as people pass along the travellator.
Control, was the most galvanising and brain-teasing aspect of the project!
Around 7000 pixels long by 700 wide, utilising traditional DMX was not a viable option … something altogether more “neat, agile and cost-efficient” was needed explained Koert.
He immediately thought of ArKaos – he’s known the team and their inventive range of products for a long time, and knew Kling-Net had the adaptability and scope required for the desired control.
The solution utilises Kling-Net running via the Kling-Force LED interfaces which have been specifically designed as a straightforward plug-and-play solution for running data to all types of LED strips, and will work with most major and popular LED strip products currently on the market.
This is the first time that ACTLD has utilised Kling-Net in a permanent installation. “It was an extremely versatile, good quality, stable and affordable way to run content to this vast amount of pixels” stated Koert.
Having worked with ArKaos products in other sectors, he “knew that there would be huge advantages with the ease-of use and manageability of a Kling-Net / Kling-Force LED interface combination, and that ArKaos’s engineering would deliver exactly what we needed with great support and huge enthusiasm”.
The project was managed for ArKaos by the Brussels based company’s operations manager, Benjamin Bauwens. Apart from the technical challenges, once on site Create had to deal with several practical and physical ones associated with working airside in a busy and fully functioning international airport! The LED strips and panels were manufactured to order for by Lucenti, another Belgian company, with the Kling-Net chips supplied by ArKaos and embedded in the strips.
The kinetic fabric, in a similar way to prismatic lenses, can refract a lightsource placed inside its fibres in a number of different ways according to the weave. The video server was supplied by Create and is running ArKaos’ MediaMaster5 software. Eight Kling-Force LED devices drive this particular installation which communicate with MediaMaster 5 via Kling-Net, so the whole surface is one large mapped canvas running the content on a loop.
There is a specific pattern to the way the strips and panels are arranged, and the whole installation can be viewed from up to 200 meters away, so it’s already attracting people and subliminally encouraging them to walk in the right direction as soon as they turn in to the corridor having exited their planes. Highly visible, it adds a welcoming sense of entertainment and anticipation to an already energised and fast-moving space.
The timing of the video loop is optimised for the average ‘business pace’ walk down the travellator. Around 24 million people travelled through Zaventem airport in 2017 and it is one of the most important global hubs and gateways in the west of Europe for air travel worldwide.