Sign of the times: digital dreams

Zaha Hadid Design’s Kensington project for JCDecaux has redefined the billboard.

Zaha Hadid Architect’s digital canvas design for JC Decaux in London.

JCDecaux, the original French street furniture purveyor, is continuing to adapt to society’s changing needs with ongoing integration of technology solutions and the introduction of smarter, greener services and products equipped with photovoltaic panels, green roofs, USB chargers and digital information screens providing real-time and localised information.

In the spirit of moving into the 21st century and beyond, they have collaborated with Zaha Hadid Design and combined innovative digital screen technology with a double-ribbon of matt stainless steel framing a curved digital screen. The result: The Kensington, located on West Cromwell Road and is the first billboard by Zaha Hadid Design.

‘Both a civic gesture and a promotional medium, the intertwined, looped ribbon design expresses the dynamism of pedestrian and vehicle traffic movements that intersect at this important London junction. The stainless- steel ribbon twists as it encircles the screen, defining a varying silhouette when seen from different viewpoints’. said Melodie Leung, senior associate at Zaha Hadid Design.

‘It will be fascinating to see how brands respond to this sculptural digital canvas. This has been a unique collaboration with JCDecaux to develop new possibilities for media platforms; reimagining the billboard as public art’, continued Leung.

‘Design is at the heart of JCDecaux’s DNA, and we are proud to have worked in partnership with Zaha Hadid Design to bring this exceptional vision for a contemporary advertising structure to London. This project underlines how JCDecaux works with the world’s leading designers to transform cityscapes for the benefit of the public and advertising clients’, said Spencer Berwin Co-Ceo of JCDecaux.

‘We would like to pay tribute to Zaha Hadid’s commitment to design excellence and to her team for bringing our joint vision to fruition and to thank our launch partners for their commitment to this unique new advertising structure. We’re delighted to have Audi and Coty as our first brand partners, using this powerful new platform as part of their launch strategy for the Audi Q8 and CK Women’, said Berwin.

Anna Russell, National Brand and Retail Marketing, Audi UK said, ‘Audi is famous for making beautiful cars that combine design excellence with optimum performance. Our “Vorsprung durch Technik” positioning encapsulates the importance of design as an expression of technology for our brand. Audi is delighted to be a launch partner for The Kensington’.

The Kensington’s high resolution 8mm pixel pitch screen (26 x 6 metres) will provide visibility and maximum quality of display for brands, framed by the (30 x 9 metres) steel structure.

Set in an area that has been landscaped to enhance the local environment with the planting of trees and greenery, The Kensington features integrated lighting that increase visibility for pedestrians.

jcdecaux.co.uk / zaha-hadid.com

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