Brisbane’s new office tower, Heritage Lanes at 80 Ann St is innovative in so many ways. But what’s most exciting to us as a specialist technology company is the way in which it puts our technology specialties to work in pursuit of noble ideas like wellness.
The Heritage Lanes building will be of historic significance for other reasons as well. 80 Ann St will always be remembered as one of Australia’s first commercial properties to substantially embrace Media Architecture, the idea of empowering static surfaces within a building’s architecture to establish a narrative.
The project features two LED ceilings, an indoor one on the first level, and an outdoor one high above the rooftop terrace. As technical achievements, these vast digital canvases are impressive. The indoor screen on level one covers 232 square metres, while the outdoor rooftop screen measures at 384 sqm. To give these measurements some global perspective, the largest LED ceiling in Europe at the time of writing was only 169 sqm. 80 Ann St will therefore command industry attention internationally.
Size, however, is only part of the technical story. There were technical challenges involved with these two projects that other installation companies would have found difficult, such as needing to provide sweeping screen curves or accommodating HVAC items necessary for human comfort. The Ci Group has a long history of rising to such challenges. It is therefore not surprising that almost without exception, the most complex LED projects in Australia are all Ci Group projects. There is no other technical facilitator in the country as committed to the cause.
The technical complexity does not end there. The Level 1 display, for example, features a 2.5mm NPP bonded surface screen that comprises 11,520 x 8,640 pixels, the first ceiling display in the Southern Hemisphere to break the 12k resolution barrier and capable of showing full colour, full motion digital video to an exceptionally high standard. Succeeding with the complex screen composition of such an unusually shaped screen in terms of content management is a noteworthy technical achievement. Known as Bubble Canopy this screen is the largest indoor LED screen in the southern hemisphere. Powered by a custom-built PC it consists of 4,240 individual LED tiles.
The Level 31 outdoor LED ceiling display (The Crown) at 384 sqm is 15% larger than the giant scoreboard at the MCG. And while there are some larger overhead examples in Las Vegas and in Asia, they are all screens offering much lower resolution. This pixel pitch in this instance is 10mm which provides vivid, billboard-like performance to the viewers on the rooftop directly below. Also visible from street level 31 stories below, this rooftop LED ceiling will give Heritage Lanes instant status as an iconic building within the Brisbane cityscape.
Technology, however, is not sufficient on its own to wow an audience. Content is the thing that does that, and the Ci Group has been privileged to partner with some of the best content providers in Australia. In this instance we believe Spacesuit & Co at Bengar Films’ motion artworks will draw significant attention globally, as the content successfully aligns the building’s ambiance with the wellness aspiration at the very heart of its design and market positioning. The vast 23-metre-wide roof top screen is connected to live weather data and its sky changes colour according to local daylight and cloud density conditions. The building is thus expressive of its environment.
Much of the screen content at Ann St is similarly data driven and dynamically created in real time. Much of the spectacular Spacesuit & Co content also reinforces the biophilic nature of the building and its positive impact on mood. Spacesuit & Co at Bengar Films are exceptional at what they do and have already enabled a few Ci Group clients to express their business activity as art, an initiative growing in popularity worldwide. A big screen is not a necessity for this to happen.
Heritage Lanes set out to be one of the greenest, most sustainable and healthiest buildings in Australia and is on track to meet this ambition. It has also provided an opportunity for display technology, media architecture, experience design and creative motion arts to collectively make a valuable contribution to the outcome.
We therefore hope the commercial property industry at large take heed and follow suit, and in the process become better acquainted with the kind of expertise necessary to have on a media architecture delivery team. Because teamwork, and only teamwork, is what delivers display projects of this magnitude.
In championing the cause of media architecture and experience design we expect Heritage Lanes will help change the built environment for the better throughout Australia. We certainly look forward to the next such project eventuating.