That’s a Wrap: Port Authority Unveils Translucent LED Bus Terminal Advertising Installation

The Port Authority Bus Terminal has activated New York City’s largest installation of mediamesh: an advanced LED imagery technology with a variety of potential applications.

Mediamesh - Port Authority - LEDs

Back in May, we wrote about New York City’s first large-scale application of mediamesh – an advanced LED imagery technology – at the northeast corner of the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue. Last week, the 6000-square-foot installation was activated. GKD-USA – the technology’s joint venture manufacturer – has released a neat time lapse promotional video through advertising agency a2A media that demonstrates mediamesh’s reach. The Architect’s Newspaper calls the video “a snazzy little number” that’s interesting “for the intriguing opacity and transparency of the screen. While the advertising applications are obvious, there’s definitely some untapped potential for public art/architecture.” Check out the video below:

As we explained previously, mediamesh is actually a stainless steel fabric in which LED lights are embedded. Because it is a tensile structure (i.e., all of its elements are in tension with no compression or bending), mediamesh can hang over large areas with little steel support.  When installed, the mesh still permits views from the interior to the outside. Depending on how much space is left between each band of LED lights, the translucence of the display can vary. The video’s depiction of the installation at the Bus Terminal makes it easy to imagine how mediamesh could similarly transform the lower floors of almost any building into revenue-generating, street-level advertising space.

Once dubbed the world’s fifth ugliest building, it’s always somewhat flummoxing to us that the Bus Terminal is turning into a focal point for local green building issues. Vornado is in talks with SOHO China – Beijing’s largest real estate developer – to invest between $500 and $700 million into the construction of 20 Times Square above the station. At 1.3 million square feet, the 42-story, Richard Rogers-designed tower is slated to aim for LEED for Core and Shell Gold from USGBC.

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