Based in a city famous for innovation and creativity, Manchester Metropolitan University’s purpose built, state of the art School of Digital Arts (SODA) building, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, embraces the future creative talent in our city.  SODA is home to courses that span film, animation, UX, design, photography, sound design, gaming, Al and more.

Designed for the present, but with the ability to adapt to technological advances in the future.  Expressing creativity from the exterior, SODA’s four storey digital media façade boldly announces its arrival in the city.

Using only the leading products in architectural lighting and control technology, the Studiotech team worked together to come up with the most impactful and expressive solution. 

Studiotech supplied and installed 8059 individually addressable Traxon Archishape® 2.0 dots, controlled by e:cue control system.  The SODA façade has many advanced features such as video to light pixel mapping, video import and visual automation tools.

With in-house training provided by Studiotech, the team at SODA now have the ability to upload their own content.  Passing on the knowledge to the students and allowing them to showcase their creativity in the form of artwork and animation adorning the façade in lights.

In terms of energy usage, based on typical light usage in media solutions being at around 25-30% of the total potential output, Studiotech estimates that the media façade at SODA has a total annual energy consumption of 9,580 kWh per year.  This total is the similar energy usage of the average electric car that travels around 25,000 miles per annum.

The total power used by all of the lights adds up to about 16kW, they should never use this much power as this would mean the screen is all on white at full brightness.  As the screen runs animation and video, a more realistic figure would be a third of this, or less, which is comparable to the power used by two kettles. Maximum impact with minimal consumption.

Ed Vickery, Director at Studiotech says “It has been a great honour to support the SODA development and Manchester’s future creative and digital industry.  We couldn’t have asked to leave the façade in more capable and creative hands than we have with the team and the students at SODA.  We can’t wait to see future artwork showcased on the building.”

Partners: Luminaires & control equipment – Traxon e:cue.

Image credit: Design Crawl.



November 2023 issue

2023 A1 Buyers Guide