GKD Wraps Port Authority Bus Terminal in World’s Largest LED Display
by Nicholas Tamarin | Wednesday, June 22, 2011
With more than 200,000 people passing through it daily, the dingy form of the Port Authority Bus Terminal has long taken a back seat to its undeniable function—but that’s all about to change now that it’s the proud recipient of the world’s largest LED façade.
Woven-metal fabrics manufacturer GKD-USA is responsible for the 6,000-square-feet of transparent Mediamesh, the company’s proprietary combination of woven stainless steel embedded with LEDs. It provides the much-maligned structure and it’s now-concealed 1970’s, “Taxi Driver”-era steel overlay with opportunities for advertising and art displays while providing eco-friendly doses of natural light and ensuring that interior views aren’t blocked.
Additionally, the material’s breathability allows for the free movement of air within the parking structure, eliminating the energy and cost needed to run mechanical equipment to control emissions from the nearly 7,200 buses that arrive there daily. With a design that features open space on 57 percent of its surface, it allows for both natural ventilation and the reduction of solar heat gain on the parking areas.
The eye-popping project features 16 panels containing 1.325 million LED diodes. With 8 panels installed on each of two sides of the building, two surfaces are created for simultaneous, separate or continuous messaging. And since the over 265,000 pixels are arranged approximately 2 inches apart vertically and 1.5 inches horizontally, the façade works equally as well in daylight as it does at night.