Orlando International Airport – Terminal C

ProjectOrlando International Airport - Terminal CLocationOrlando, Florida, USAArchitectFentress Architects, USALighting DesignerGentilhomme, CanadaInstallerElectrosonic, USASubmitted byGentilhomme

For Orlando International Airport (MCO), we took a real-time, interactive and immersive storytelling approach to digital public installation in its new Terminal C.

We believe our work should win because it aims to reinforce the conversation about the importance of art in public spaces and the uniqueness of these immersive and interactive digital art experiences for an airport that typically uses screens to display flight information or advertisements.

These artistic interventions enhance the well-being of travellers. Each installation has its own experiential identity reflecting the surrounding landscape and hosts hours of custom-created content that celebrates the beauty and transformative elements of Central Florida, one of the world’s richest ecosystems.

This is a first of its kind for a digital public art installation in the aviation space. By leveraging the magic of interactive technology, we’re providing a never-before-seen gateway into local culture and fostering unexpected connections among passersby.

Additionally, the complete production of this work consists of over 70 content capsules using advanced CGI techniques, integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI), creating immersive 360° underwater films, and utilizing a real-time interactive system to offer travellers a refuge from the stressful elements of travel.

Finally, the design and production of the content was done from our studio in Montreal despite the pandemic. Due to travel restrictions, we had to use creative solutions to carry out client presentations and approvals. With the use of virtual reality, we developed tools to simulate the traveller experience and offer remote guided tours.

Designed and produced by us as the main Content Production Company (CPC), the multimedia experience reconsiders the passenger’s relationship with the airport by offering unexpected moments of magic that bring back the joy and wonder of air travel.

The Moment Vault serves as an iconic centre point in the new terminal. Three photorealistic CGI morphing nature walls house a whimsical interior where guests are immersed in a 360º interactive world featuring scenes from Mars, swims with manatees, swarms of fireflies, and schools of fish.

Acting as a microcosm of the surrounding area’s geography and culture, the work serves a multitude of creative and commercial goals. As a world-class international facility, MCO airport greets an annual 60 million passengers both entering and departing the city. A site of significant importance, the facility must showcase the region’s best offerings and impart lasting impressions on its visitors in a way that is both calming and entertaining.

In order to achieve this, we leveraged our experience in conceptualisation, creative direction, video production, advanced CGI, and motion tracking technology to transform the passenger journey from potentially stressful or mundane to magical, memorable, and inspiring.

The second installation, Windows on Orlando is designed as an expansive panoramic reveal. A triptych of 32-foot-high screens spanning 114 feet gives the illusion of three windows that open up onto mesmerising scenes celebrating Orlando, from SpaceX rocket launches to bird migrations. Gentilhomme’s in-house cinematographers, along with a local production team, shot with 12K resolution cameras at more than 20 different locations within a 50km radius of the airport.

Serving as the focal point of Terminal C, the Moment Vault offers an interactive experience where inside, passengers are transported into 360° photorealistic worlds. The installation is composed of three giant screens within curved walls facing each other. The content covers 2,979 square feet with LED panels on all sides of the walls.

The audio system consists of the subtle integration of two stereo sets of full-range speakers (four per wall), accompanied by two subwoofers per wall, the system is integrated behind an acoustically transparent architectural treatment at the base of each structure.

For this feature, we composed original music for all the Moment Vault Interior capsules repertoire. The musical intention was to create a rich and detailed orchestrated sound environment with a “multi-layered” experience of music, textures and SFX.

We mixed, mastered, and balanced this 360° “surround” field configuration to offer a fully immersive audio experience reinforcing the content and interactive moments. The objective was to create an experience that takes the passengers away from the noise and stress of the airport, immerses them in unfamiliar environments, and gives them extraordinary experiences.

For the Windows on Orlando, the audio system consist of an array of 18 glass transducer speakers and three subwoofers defining the different zones.
For this feature, the audio was designed by taking into consideration the sound zones within the airport environment and the speaker placement.

One of the main challenges on this project came from developing, designing, and integrating interactive content for one of the busiest airports in the USA, at the centre point of the new terminal C: The Moment Vault Interior, through the deployment of large-scale AI-based computer vision 3D skeleton tracking to support up to 30 participants in interactive scenes while maintaining tracking integrity.

The Moment Vault Interior is a unique immersive media feature equipped with an interactive system composed of six tracking cameras and six 4K live feed cameras placed on the sides of each screen with a specific, dedicated playback.

To diversify the passenger experience, we developed two categories of interactive capsules using two kinds of data inputs: The Mirror series and The Particle series.

The Mirror series is a combination of several capsules with a faceted mirror effect using the live feed cameras installed by the sides of each screen. The visitor experience becomes their own reflection inside the Moment Vault, creating a unique and immersive moment.

Part of the Mirror series, Moving Mirrors is a capsule that best demonstrates our capability to produce interactive content with real-time data sources within a crowded environment. It is a simulation of a kinetic sculpture, composed with different scale mirrors that rotate depending on the speed and direction of the wind, made using three different data sources: Weather web API, RGB cameras, and tracking cameras.

The Particule series is a combination of several capsules using a particle effect, a shimmering trail of dust is formed thanks to the tracking system. The visitor can see their own shimmering silhouette transported into whimsical landscapes such as Mars or the ocean seabed.

We used the global tracking data by detecting human shapes through a regular camera using AI computer vision WRNCH. For the interactive content, the position of the visitors generated a body made of particles projected inside the 3D environment in real time.

To test the system within the site’s parameters we organised a 1:1 scale mockup for validation and testing the tracking system, the camera system, and the integration of interactive content (including hardware and software). Additionally, we organised focus groups and brought many people to test the interactive content to observe reactions and behaviours.