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Industry: Professional & Public services
Style: Minimalism
Describe The Brief From The Client:
As general partner for the 2014 XXII Olympic and XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi MegaFon built the entire telecommunications infrastructure of the Sochi Olympics to ensure that all visitors had the constant connectivity they required to create their own history of the Games via social channels.
Therefore, Prior to the Olympics MegaFon launched a five-month long “Create Your Own Olympic History” campaign. It encouraged people to make the Olympics a very personal experience with MegaFon’s mobile internet. Company’s pavilion was meant to become the pinnacle of this experience and give everyone an opportunity to turn their Olympic Moment into something truly epic.
Our Moscow-based marketing agency partner responded to the brief. Inspired by the idea of the ultimate ‘selfie’, it comissioned a London architect Asif Khan to design a unique 2,000 sq m pavilion featuring the world’s first interactive kinetic facade. Capable of rendering 8 metre tall 3D images, the Pavilion became a digital Mount Rushmore, turning ordinary people into icons of the Games.
Despite none of the materials being available in Russia, this technically complex project took only 12 months to move from initial sketches to the most high profile corporate activity of the Olympics.

MegaFon customers around Russia and visitors to the Olympic Park were invited to create their own moment of history by having their faces scanned, after which they were brought to life on the pavilion façade at a scale larger than the Statue of Liberty.
Facial impressions are relayed via 3D scans made in photo booths installed within the building. They capture five photographs at the same time from different angles, thus making the scanning process as fast and simple as using a commercial photo booth, while generating 3D models that are suitable for display on the façade.
Designed to function like a huge pin screen, the façade of the pavilion is made up of over 11,000 actuators which transform the building’s flexible skin into a three-dimensional portrait.
After a facial scan has been made, the image is fed through an engine and cable system to the actuators which can be extended out to a depth of up to two metres to define three-dimensional forms at monumental scale. The tip of each actuator carries a translucent sphere that contains an RGB-LED light representing one pixel. This makes it possible to render the output of the facade in color. Morphing every 50 seconds, three faces are featured at any one time, enlarged by 3,500%.
All the technology, even the 3D scanners and 3D photo booths, were created specially for the project by a Swiss-based engineering company.
For thousands of years people have used faces to tell stories. From portrait painting and statues of the past, through to ‘selfies’ and ‘emoticons’ of the social media age, faces have always been used as shorthand for communication. The intention was to provide an epic canvas for the most simple story that people wanted to tell on that historic occasion – ‘I was there’.

Acknowledged as the best Olympic pavilion of 2014, MegaFaces was the runaway success of the Games. More than 400 news articles in the Russian media and over 600 articles in international media established the pavilion as one of the iconic symbols of Sochi 2014.
And with over 140,000 participants’ faces shown throughout the Games and more than 100,000 posts and tweets, public engagement in the campaign was even better than expected.
MegaFaces Pavilion was an inspiring example of how the elements of the digital age can find their physical embodiment. In addition, we believe that this technology breakthrough will encourage young architects and artists to investigate the potential for permanent shape-changing buildings in the future. After the Games the Pavilion will be reassembled in a public area in Moscow to serve as a flagship for MegaFon’s innovation and outstanding customer experience.
The Pavilion and its kenetic facade might also become a unique medium for selected contemporary artists and a distinctive art-platform in itself.
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2014
Grand Prix Innovation
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