Vast Digital Ceiling, New LED Displays, Highlight 35M EU Upgrades To Barcelona Mall

March 25, 2024 by Dave Haynes

There should be a new must-see tour stop for pro AV nerds in Barcelona by the time the next Integrated Systems Europe is held in early 2025 – a shopping mall that is adding a 1,100 sq, meter digital ceiling to its common space.

The L’illa Diagonal mall – on one of the city’s main roadways and 3-4 kms away from the old town areas, is adding a big ambient ceiling and several large fine and medium pitch LED marketing displays as part of a digital upgrade.

What was the first shopping center built in Barcelona is investing 35 million euros in refurbished exterior and interior areas, with the most visual difference the ceiling – dubbed Northern Lights.

From an online preview announcement:

The installation comprises over 200,000 pixels distributed in space and meticulously mapped to operate coherently through the reproduced content. The selection of RGBW LEDs offers extended color depth, and each element was custom-designed and manufactured for the installation’s purpose, including panels, LEDs, connection and distribution elements, and tensioned textiles, all to adapt and integrate with the space. The remarkable surface that hybridizes this concept between lighting and low-resolution screen comes to life through content specially designed for this solution.

L’illa Diagonal’s ceiling transforms into a captivating digital canvas, where abstract movements of light and color dance in harmony, creating animated skies that seem to come alive. The Northern Lights, with their captivating and mysterious allure, emerge as protagonists in this luminous narrative, immersing the environment in a hypnotic dance that transports us to landscapes oscillating between reality and imagination. Through shadow play, an immersive experience is achieved, creating various atmospheres that blend spectacle with subtlety and elegance.

This installation is a visual narrative highlighting the interaction between technology, creativity, and the architectural environment. The fusion of technical and artistic elements creates a unique experience, redefining how light can transform and bring life to a space.

The design and lighting concept was created and directed by the Batlleiroig architecture firm in collaboration with the Artec Studio lighting design studio, with audiovisual production designed by Trigelab. Meanwhile, Lumalia Studio handled the manufacturing, assembly, and installation of the digital canvas on the ceiling, with programming by ProtoPixel. Together, they succeeded in creating a new concept of dynamic lighting for this innovative installation integrated into the shopping center’s ceiling.

The mall’s operators have also engaged the integrator Iwall in Shop to modernize screens, using displays from LED DREAM Group.

Among the digital elements highlighting the second-floor corridor are two impressive LED screens, along with the digital ceiling canvas, captivating visitors’ attention.

One LED screen boasts a total surface area of 17 m2, with a brightness of 5,000 nits and 3.9mm pixels, while the second LED screen covers 10 m2 with similar specifications. A third screen of comparable characteristics will be installed in the coming weeks.

To complete the experience, the restyling is complemented by the upcoming installation of five P1.9 LED columns, offering exceptional brightness of 2,500 nits, ideal for smaller spaces seeking maximum quality content. One column is already visible, with the rest to be installed soon.  

I like these kinds of projects that make ceilings and walls hybrid features – illuminating the space but also contributing to the experience in a way conventional light typically doesn’t. It’s also a way to control costs both on the initial hardware side and with long-term operating expenses. The challenge – not the problem – with big high-rez, full-video digital canopies like the one officially lit up last week in Manchester (UK) is the cost of keeping the material fresh.

That’s not really an issue with this sort of thing, though the Wow effect is also lessened.

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