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The “face” of the Sochi Olympics

Out There | February 18, 2014 | By:


The pavilion of the Russian telecom operator MegaFon, general partner of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, has its name on what may be the most unusual building at this year’s Olympics.

During the Winter Olympics, 3D portraits of visitors and sport fans from all over Russia will appear on the facade of the pavilion for twenty seconds each, accomplished with a flexible façade functioning something like a gigantic pin screen. The facade displays three different faces simultaneously, each of them eight meters high and six meters wide.

According to the architect, Asif Khan, 3D photo booths within the pavilion and across Russia in MegaFon retail stores will scan visitors’ portraits to be recreated by the pavilion. In about one minute, the system can calculate a three-dimensional model from five individual pictures taken in the photo booths. After a scan has been made of a person’s face, the 3D image is processed and fed to thousands of mechanical actuators behind a stretchy fabric membrane.

The project name “MegaFaces” is about giving everyone the opportunity to be the face of the Olympics. Technologies of this kind have never before been used for such a large-scale project.

The structure is sited at the entrance to the Olympic Park, and incorporates an exhibition hall, hospitality areas, a rooftop viewing deck, an amphitheater and two broadcasting suites.

MegaFaces project


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