Client: Raza, Public Pension Agency
Type: Permanent Installation
Completion: October 2020
Conceived to foster a dynamic urban space and promote technology, Digital City is a landmark mixed-use destination in Riyadh. Instantly recognizable for its 4 golden towers that sparkle in the sun, they now light up the night sky as a brilliant light-filled canvas with over 45,000 LEDs.
Originally intended as a digital experience, the towers lay dormant for several years after being constructed. Then, in 2019, the team of Craft and Saber, were commissioned by Raza and the Public Pension Agency to figure out how to bring their concept to fruition.
Instead of merely retrofitting outdated technology, Craft and Saber, with Saber as lead technical design partner, set about reimagining the towers’ function with a mission to create a new landmark for Riyadh and Saudi Arabia. With a combination of cutting-edge technology, creative design and animation, and extensive modeling and network architecture, they now operate as one large, unified canvas for content and light shows that is both versatile and user-friendly.
A powerful 3D media server translates the video signal to lighting protocols, enabling the lights to be triggered as individual pixels on a mapped geometric canvas. This is key to allowing content to operate independently on a single LED point of light or to be integrated across all 4 towers, creating a dynamic digital light experience. The system is controllable from mobile and touchscreen devices on a dedicated network, enabling easy content upload, scheduling and playback.
The team engaged New York-based creative consultants, ArtVue and Morcos Key, to conceptualize the towers’ inaugural content, working with Saber’s creative team on animation.
With their “creative-technology” focused intervention, Craft and Saber have successfully breathed life into Digital City’s golden towers, creating a brilliant emblem of innovation with its fitting debut on National Day 2020.