Esprit’s Giant Low-Rez Digital Facade In Kowloon

November 10, 2017 by Dave Haynes

This is the Esprit flagship store on Hong Kong’s Peking Road, which I stumbled across last night walking around the city. It’s a really, really different take on big digital facades, and like nothing I’ve seen before.

What’s also a bit surprising is that it dates back more than eight years.

Three sides of the store in hyper-busy Kowloon are lined with a dark metal cover that has more than 24,000 glass lenses. Each lens has LED lighting inside, and it is all mapped and controlled in a system developed by a German firm. During the day, the metal facade is the design focus and I don’t think the lights come on.

The result is steadily shifting visuals above the sidewalks.

It’s really interesting, though I’m not totally sold on it working … the visuals are very low rez and while some look fine, others were just messy and I doubt they’d create an impression for a viewer. On the other hand, the clothing brand is creating a mood and not trying to haul people in with a 40% off promo.

Walking around last night, it struck me that Hong Kong likely shows what the future looks like for LED displays. It is everywhere and as the tech gets better, it will be common in most cities.

What also struck me is how so much of the early stuff – or new and cheap stuff – is garbage, and how sometimes digital is not the way to go.

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