Lights, Sound, Music: Illuminating the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel

The reflective blue-green glass exterior of the $1.5-billion hotel is fitted with 16,800 proprietary lighting fixtures that use high-performance light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to display uniform static colours and dynamic video-lighting effects.

The reflective blue-green glass exterior of the $1.5-billion hotel is fitted with 16,800 proprietary lighting fixtures that use high-performance light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to display uniform static colours and dynamic video-lighting effects.

The façade elements

The reflective blue-green glass exterior of the $1.5-billion hotel is fitted with 16,800 proprietary lighting fixtures that use high-performance LEDs to display uniform static colours and dynamic video-lighting effects. These LEDs are controlled by 333 power- and data-delivery control systems that use one primary and one backup video processor, which process and transmit high-speed video signals.

The lighting fixtures were carefully selected, not only for their superior double brightness and clarity that can easily be seen at night (16-bit data sampling for smooth dimming, with 65,536 shades per colour), but also for their versatility, durability, and ability to withstand Florida’s extreme weather conditions. The system is also a perfect direct-view linear light tool, which was crucial for delivering the client’s vision of a clean architectural integration.

The front of the guitar-shaped hotel consists of five main elements: the outline, the sides, the neck and strings, the spandrel glass, and the front and back.

The front and back of the guitar-shaped structure are the main sections where the dynamic video-mapping content is displayed.

The outline delineates the edges of the building’s shape. Content that plays on the outline is used to hide and reveal the guitar’s contours.

The content mapped onto the sides of the structure enhances the illusion of depth of the visual effects.

RealMotion’s software was used to bind, manage, and generate the sound-responsive graphics. A specialized server to power content streams and interactive displays was installed to manage the shows.

RealMotion’s software was used to bind, manage, and generate the sound-responsive graphics. A specialized server to power content streams and interactive displays was installed to manage the shows.

The base of the neck is composed of LED fixtures. The content mapped onto this section, the only true upright element of the façade’s composition, moves in a vertical motion, mimicking fountains, chord strums, string plucks, or slow light crawls. The strings are made of high-powered colour lasers that are projected into the air.

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The spandrel glass section expands the content on the front, back, and outline to create the illusion of another ‘level’ of content.

Overcoming one challenge at a time

It was particularly challenging to design the carrier and extrusion system for this project as the shape and angles on the building change across the surface; therefore, the ‘angle of attack’ of the LED fixtures varies across the façade. SACO Technologies designed a swivel extrusion system with predetermined angles, which DCL then staged and installed onto the building. To simplify the design, the same lighting fixtures were installed throughout the designated façade elements, but with different angles of extrusions.

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