Salesforce Tower skyscraper crowned with six-floor LED art project in San Francisco

“The sculpture is a visual diary of the San Francisco community, and just like life in the city, every day will be different,” said Campbell. “Unlike a jumbotron that projects outward, this piece is a soft dreamscape that subtly floats on the night skyline, playing back the crashing waves on the beach, the rolling fog, boats on the bay, street scenes, or the rising and setting sun.”

We had asked for more details as to the type of SSL products used in the façade lighting project and how they were constructed. A spokesperson for Hosfelt Gallery said the 11,000 individual pixels that comprise the display are Osram LEDs that were integrated in custom housings and that use custom driver electronics.

It appears the pixel LEDs actually are from LED Engin, a company that Osram acquired about one year ago. LED Engin integrates LED chips from Osram Opto Semiconductors and other manufacturers into multi-emitter arrays that target a variety of specialty applications, including façade lighting. In the case of Salesforce Tower, the project utilizes the LZ4 packaged LED that has a flat lens and that integrates RGBW (red, green, blue, and white) emitters or individual LED chips.

“Over the past four years, we’ve been working with Jim to provide the right lighting solutions for various art projects,” said David Tahmassebi, CEO of LED Engin. “Based in the San Francisco Bay area ourselves, we’re particularly excited that he selected our LZ4 RGBW flat-lens emitters to help create his ‘Day for Night’ installation as it is a unique work of art that our local community will get to enjoy on a daily basis.”

The project also uses some other SSL elements to complete the full effect. Wash fixtures from Lumenpulse provide accent lighting. And Traxon Technologies, another Osram business unit, supplied supplemental luminaires. A wired DMX system provides the control.

The building is owned by the partnership of Hines and Boston Properties. And Boston Properties has a history of supporting novel LED art projects in commercial buildings. For example, we recently covered a dynamic and interactive LED project in the lobby of an iconic Boston, MA building.

The team behind the San Francisco project, meanwhile, clearly believes that it will become one of the truly iconic architectural sights around the globe. “The Eiffel Tower was a product and symbol of its time — an era of enormous advances in engineering and technical possibility,” said Todd Hosfelt, founder and principal of Hosfelt Gallery. “Likewise, ‘Day for Night’ is a reflection of the importance of digital technology and San Francisco’s place in that culture and economy. Campbell’s piece atop the Salesforce Tower will not only be an icon of the San Francisco skyline, it will come to be a symbol of this place, at this particular moment in history.”

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