Al Wasl - The Interactive Experience
2022, Dubai

Bild Studios were commissioned to turn the world's most complex 360 projection installation, the Al Wasl Dome in Dubai, into the world’s largest interactive audiovisual experience for Expo City Dubai, the futuristic legacy site of Dubai Expo 2020.

Running real-time Notch content across a 27,000 x 6,000 pixels canvas, featuring 252 projectors, 16 disguise media servers, 27 line arrays - all controlled from an Ipad, and working closely with the creative team of Al Wasl Dome, the team at Bild used their extensive knowledge in real-time workflows, video engineering, and creative design to realise the huge task.

The creative team at Expo, headed up by Executive Creative Director Amna Abulhoul, had a vision with two main objectives in mind; to first and foremost create an impressive and highly immersive VIP experience where chosen individuals could stand in Al Wasl ‘touch the dome’ by generating stunning real-time visuals within the impressive architectural structure. The second objective was driven by much more of a practical nature; to lean on real-time generated content, created in the engine Notch, to save time on pre-rendered content ingest and reserve hard drive space within the busy disguise media server system. 

In addition to the visual design aspect there was also the opportunity to generate interactive audio for the in-house L-Acoustics audio system, made up of 27 discrete Loudspeaker arrays and 6 subwoofers distributed around the dome. Consequently, the final result would not only represent the world's largest interactive visual installation but also utilise one of the world’s biggest audio installations - reacting to the finger movement of the app-user. 

After being presented with a brief illustrating a series of treatments the Expo wanted to create, Bild devised a four-phase delivery to bring the installation to life.  Due to the extreme size and advanced specification of the installation, the realisation of the project was the close relationship between advanced technical engineering and creative development - a process that had to be completed in unison.  The team successfully delivered the project through the pandemic, including content design and delivery, engineering, onsite installation and commissioning. 

‘I think real-time time technology represents the startt of what we are about to see more of, and I can’t wait to see how Al Wasl develops throughout the years using the technology Bild has delivered for us’, says Expo 2020 Executive Creative Director Amna Abulhou.

Now, with the expertise of Bild and the collaboration with the creative minds at Expo 2020, Al Wasl Plaza sits proudly as an interactive piece of art and the most complex and largest video installation in the world.

Client: Expo City Dubai

Bild Project Team:
Executive Producer & Principal Consultant: David Bajt
Senior Producer: Lauren Rogers 
Technical Director: Jamie Sunter
Project Engineer: Rury Nelson 
Software Developer: David Kanekanian 
Creative Notch Lead: Lewis Kyle White
Notch Artist: Marco Martignone 
Notch Artist: Michael Wilson 
Notch Artist: Dave Ferner
Notch Artist: Nick Diacre
Sound Design: Gareth Fry

Expo Project Team:
Executive Creative Director: Amna Abulhoul
Senior Creative Manager: Karl Knight
Senior Creative Technologist: Charles Draper
Senior Manager - Motion Designer/Animator: Jaanus Vann
Senior Manager Broadcast & Projection: Toomas Vann

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