Harrah’s Resort Media Façade

Merit Award

Harrah’s goal was to assert itself as the premier resort in Atlantic City by creating a unique and cutting-edge architectural media statement that would command the attention of all visitors coming to and from the city. Harrah’s intention was not to create a giant billboard. Not only would the display be huge, but it would give the Waterfront Tower, the casino’s home, its own personality.

The sheer size of the media display required a control system that could handle video files comprised of more than 8 million pixels (3,652 x 2,254 pixels). The challenge was to provide a simple interface to manage and schedule files of this size while synchronizing playback of full-color motion video across four facades. Although the horizontal resolution of the LED display is extremely fine (1.2-in. pitch), the vertical resolution is approximately 10 ft. Even with this extreme vertical distance between pixels, content was created that the eye and brain comprehend as a complete legible image.

To show Harrah’s the potential of their LED investment, Tim Hunter Design created a 3D digital animation to illustrate what the full-motion color video would look like on the façade. To communicate media concepts with the Harrah’s marketing team, the Hunter design team developed the 3D digital building model further so it could be used as a tool for previewing media concepts.

On the evening of July 3, 2008, the tower was suddenly and dramatically illuminated with specifically designed digital media content. The initial program featured a fireworks display on the building and created a visually stunning segue from live fireworks to the digital content.

Harrah’s brand-related imagery and gaming icons are used to create an ongoing light show on the tower.

Jury Comments: 

“The large-scale LED treatment of the hotel tower creates an ultimate example of Venturi’s ‘decorated shed’ and creates a spectacle appropriate for ‘casino urbanism.’ The selective use of light bands is an effective solution that allows good visual resolution for the supergraphic imagery and animation of the environment while not interfering with views from the rooms.”

Design Firm: 

Tim Hunter Design

Client: 

Harrah's Resort Atlantic City

Location City: 

Atlantic City, N.J.

Project Area: 

N/A

Open Date: 

July 2008

Project Budget: 

N/A

Photo Credits: 

Tim Hunter Design

Design Team: 

Tim Hunter (principal in charge), Mike Hansen (digital media producer), George Robbins (art director), Philip Pauer (project manager), Zach Horn (motion graphics), Doron Levin (design assistant)

Consultants: 

T.N. Ward Company (general contractor), Friedmutter Group (project architect), John Levy Lighting Productions (LED specification consultant)

Fabricators: 

Color Kinetics (LEDs), C-nario (control system software), Production Resource Group (system integrator), Calvi Electric (electrical contractor)

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