Every Drop Counts. Barcelona's New Media Facade on the Fontsanta Balance Tower - Media Skin Explores Water

Jan 14, 2010, 09:05 ET from ag4 - media facade GmbH

COLOGNE, Germany, January 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The media facade on Barcelona's water tower, built by the Cologne-based company >>ag4 media facade GmbH<< and completed at the end of November, links media architecture to the increasingly urgent issue of water, the source of life.

The "Fontsanta Balance Tower" is part of the newly constructed pumping station built by the Spanish water supply company ATLL and conceals a water reservoir that ensures a constant water pressure balance in Barcelona.

ag4 has created a media skin for the water reservoir. Dynamic visual media blend with the impressive architecture of the building. The light choreography, created by ag4 in close collaboration the architects ruisanchez arquitectes and ATLL, explores the various themes concerning the sustainable management and use of water reserves while simultaneously emphasizing the form and function of the building.

Oliver Ebert, architect and project manager explains: "The challenge here was to translate the architecture's aesthetic, the function of the building and its sustainable energy concept into a media experience using a graphically abstract visual language."

At a resolution of 3650 pixels, the facade installation is set to display sequences of abstract-figurative light patterns and text elements by night. Minimalist animations evoke the natural water cycle of rain, water flow and evaporation.

The concrete core of the structure spanning a surface of 768 m2 is covered in an impressive patchwork of metal and photovoltaic elements, creating an intelligent form of self-generated energy supply concealed within an aesthetic element. This skin, equipped with 18,000 LEDs that consume approximately 0.7 kW-h for the nighttime installation, is supplied with power entirely generated by the tower's own photovoltaic system and then fed into the public power grid during the day.

In line with the function of the building, we have created and designed a mediatecture that is future-oriented and is defined by sustainability and a long-term perspective. I am therefore especially pleased that, as a logical consequence, the media facade installed on the "Fontsanta Balance Tower" provides opportunities for the exploration of water as a valuable resource.

    Ralf Muller, "Executive Director ag4 media facade GmbH"

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