MAI Blog

“Wall of Africa” – Expo 2008, Zaragoza

“Water and sustainability” is the motto of this year’s international world exhibition held from 14 June to 14 September in Zaragoza, Northern Spain. In 140 pavilions, approximately 100 nations are presenting solutions for the responsible use of the precious resource. Ledon’s contribution is the visionary illuminated façade “Wall of Africa”, an impressive example of the variable use of light-emitting diodes.

Light as a medium of communication

In compliance with the world exhibition’s objective to promote and continuously develop innovative technologies on a sustainable basis, Ledon created a media façade spanning more than 1,500 square metres. In collaboration with the exhibition stand designers and builders Nüssli and architects from Atelier Brückner, a concept was devised which incorporates more than 220,000 LEDs and is intended to visualise the theme of the Expo and bring it to life.

As each pixel can be individually addressed, a wide variety of light shows and videos with seamless transitions can be realised. In addition, arrays of semi-transparent plastic squares flexibly arranged on the façade flutter in the wind, reminiscent of moving water. While by day African landscapes are created across the façade, by night climatic events such as thunderstorm clouds and impressions of African people and animals are shown on the video wall.

via:, atelier-brueckner

This project has been shown at the Media Facades Exhbition Berlin 2008 and was published in the Exhibition Companion (download the Catalogue Pdf – 7 Mb).

One Comment

  1. Posted Oct 29, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Comment from Marc Tamschick:



    “Water and Sustainable development” was the motto of the Expo 2008 which took place from the 14th of June to the 14th of September 2008 in the Spanish Saragossa, the capital of Aragonia. The higher basic idea is obliged to the “decade of the water” which was exclaimed by the UNO.

    Along the river Ebro, the biggest Spanish watercourse, about 100 countries presented themselves on 25 hectars of exhibition space. 22 pavilions were established. In the centre of the arrangement five international pavilions, so-called “Balcony Pavilions” which question different geographic regions concerning the liquid element expect the visitor. The pavilion of the African countries, the „Pavilion Savanna, Steppe and Prairie” which shows a media facade as the only pavilion of the Expo forms a special centre of attraction within this ensemble. It has been created by the Stuttgart studio ATELIER BRÜCKNER. The pavilion’s rather introverted, bean-shaped architecture (planner: Bambó y Azcárate (ACXT) communicates itself though a dynamic membrane. The interior message of the pavilion is radiated to the exterior. A pixilated landscape collage of the 14 African countries in the pavilion is printed here on small mirrored panels. The Saragossa winds activate the swinging panels while the mirrored surface reflects the moving clouds of the sky above. A play with our sensory perception begins.

    With dusk, a true metamorphosis starts: A LED light display positioned behind the semi-translucent panels takes over the show. At 218-meter in length and six meters high, the savanne comes to life. A landscape rich in life and cultures, shaped by wind and water, unfolds. A visual poem, created by the media artist Marc Tamschick (, enlightens the more than 60.000 monochrome white LED pixels. The white light becomes the african spirit that paints images on the surface of the pavillon. The seven minute film loop immerses the space with the density and vivacity of the african continent.

    Surface area of Platelet facade: 1667,7 m² (218 m length x 7,65 m height)
    Number of Platelets: 73549, of which 30% (about 25000) are printed
    Platelet size: 13,6 cm width x 14 cm height

    Composite material: transparent mirrored foil fixed on translucent diffusion backing
    Printing: collaged landscape of all participating countries, roughly pixilated, integrated with country names
    Mounting: 1,72 x 7,65 m steel lattice grid with steel members 4 mm in diameter, held away from back wall with 14 cm steel spacers

    Area of LED-animation: 1308 m² (218 m length x 6 m height)
    Number of LED-tubes: 2968 (3 m in length, 38 mm diameter)
    62328 pixels at a pitch of 14,3 cm, 49 pixels per m²
    21 pixels per tube
    4 LEDs per pixel, white LEDs

    visual poem:
    A production of TAMSCHICK MEDIA+SPACE GMBH, Berlin (
    director: Marc Tamschick
    concept: Marc Tamschick, Charlotte Tamschick
    Visual artists: Andreas Dihm, Pascal Germovsek, Eva-Maria Heinrich, Leif Heidenreich, Marc Tamschick
    Black and white, Loop: 6:45 min

    Video: http://www

Post a Comment

Leave a Reply