Unforgettable Stage

International
Thursday, August 6, 2009
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The 4,000-square-foot video screen is made up of 800 LED Panels. It also expands and contracts.

The 4,000-square-foot video screen is made up of 888 LED Panels. It also expands and contracts.

Engineering firm Buro Happold is known for designing innovative structures. The glazed canopies it suspended above the courtyards of the Smithsonian and the British Museum baffle the mind with their seeming lightness. And the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic, on which the firm collaborated with fellow UK native Grimshaw, introduced upstate New York to some of the most space-age forms it has seen since Whitley Streiber’s Communion. Now the firm—along with designers Hoberman Associates and Innovative Designs—has turned its expertise to the world of rock and roll with its structural design for an expanding 4,000-square-foot video screen that will accompany U2 on their current 360º tour. Made up of 888 LED panels (500,000 pixels) the screen weighs 32 tons, can expand and contract from 23 feet tall to 72 feet tall in 90 seconds, and can be assembled in 8 hours and broken down into portable pieces in 6 hours. More pics and some videos after the jump.

The screen can expand from two stories to 13 in 90 seconds.

The screen can expand from 23 feet tall to 72 feet tall in 90 seconds.

The expanding video screen debuted on June 30th in Barcelona, Spain. It will open in America on September 12th in Chicago’s Soldier Field.

The screen is composed of 96 individual units, each weighing 700 pounds.

It is composed of 96 individual units, each weighing 700 pounds.

The frame is constructed of stainless steel and airplane aluminum.

The frame is constructed of stainless steel and airplane aluminum.

The scissor-like system is raised and lowered by 40 chain hoists working in unison.

The scissor-like system is raised and lowered by 40 chain hoists working in unison.


A video mock-up of screen produced by Stufish.


The screen in action on opening night in Barcelona.

2 Responses to “Unforgettable Stage”

  1. E says:

    Not designed by Buro Happold, it is designed by Hoberman Associates.
    http://www.hoberman.com/home.html

    BH apparently did support services
    http://www.hoberman.com/news/Hoberman_U2TransformableScreen_FINAL.pdf

  2. Matt Chaban says:

    E,

    Apologies. We’ve made the corrections, including nods to Hoberman and Innovative Designs. To be fair, we never said BH was responsible for the entire thing, just the structure. That said, we should also give credit where credit is due.

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