Lorenzo Bennassar's profile

Katara Plaza 4D mapping projection

Conception, design and creative direction for the International presentation of the Katara Plaza project, an Ali Bin Ali Group commercial, cultural and leisure complex located in the Cultural Village of Doha with a surface area measuring 38,000 square metres, opening to the public in late 2018.

The 4D inmersive mapping projection was done on a 750 m2 screen (104 meters long by 7 meters high) with twelve projectors of 20,000 lux each, plus 7.1 surround sound.

An "Acciona Cultura" production.
Creative Direction by Lorenzo Bennassar.
Original script.

1. Intro / Architecture (1 minute)
We entered the hall and we see all the walls covered with huge purple velvet curtains (we also see projected ground to bring the projection further back and constantly play with the depth enhancing the 3D mapping effects).
The curtains are huge and heavy, but soft and they move subtly and slowly with the night breeze. Occasionally we see a hint of the starry night that’s behind.
When all the public is finally placed on the main gateway, suddenly those huge curtains fall to unveil a starry night.
From the ground up begins the construction of the Mall in the purest 3D mapping style, with the appearance of cubes from the ground up, rotating on itself and unfolding the buildings structures, volumes and facades to finally find ourselves in front of the Valley Mall as it will look a year from now (Galeries Lafayette is the end on the right).
The light illuminating the mall will randomly turn off by areas until we only see its "wireframe" skeleton. All the way until only the vertical lines remain, forming a huge projection of vertical lines that suddenly begin to vibrate horizontally at the same bit of the music as if they were a giant harp.
After 3 or 4 seconds of music, the "strings" break becoming little bits of diamonds that, when touching the ground, will create little sparks (as if they were sparks from a welding).

2. Glamour / Lifestyle (1:30 minutes)
When touching the ground, the "sparks" will open circular holes on the floor from which will begin to appear glass frames with luxury items in them: Gift bags with the logo of Galeries Lafayette, jewelry, woman handbags, silver, gold and porcelain figurines, women scarves, hats, etc.
This sequence of luxury items will end with huge pearls also appearing from the same ground holes and will remain suspended in the air, floating.
After a few seconds, accompanied by flashes, the pearls will decompose in small particles that will regain gravity and fall to the ground as will begin a series of flashes to give entrance to a fashion runway environment (the catwalk).
From the center of the front screen split rectangles will unfold randomly towards the edges displaying the video of video of the catwalk. We’ll extend this effect to our side screens, which will mainly house photographers shooting their flashes. The flash lights will subtly unveil columns of fabric (riggings type) in the corners of the room which will allow us to make a more realistic projection and transition to the side screens. 
During the catwalk pieces of printed fabric, as if they were women scarves, will fall sinuous and elegantly from the ceiling the lights will iluminate them ocasionally. The flight of these gentle fabrics will be random and some can fall on our spectators, but one of them will fall on the catwalk floor. This will be done by integrating it on 3D in the video, always looking to surprise the audience and play with the confusion of what is real and what is not.

3. Wellness / Evian Spa (2 minutes)
The intensity of the flashes is increasing and the burst will bring us back to a starry night environment. The calm is back. The rhythm of the music changes and we entered a "chill out" ambience with background the sound of nature.
In the darkness we see big "zen" stones falling gently and slowly from the ceiling. The light is very dim, just the one coming from the stars at night. The stones remain floating while turning around themselves and occasionally releasing water droplets which, in contact with the ground, create subtle waves for us to discover that the floor is actually a water surface. It’s extremely relaxing and attractive.
Suddenly the stones regain gravity and fall into the water that gains protagonism because of the precious drawings, waves and splashes generated by falling stones.
At this relaxing point in time we see candles also coming down from the "ceiling" and illuminating the darkness as they descend. The horizon has become a blurry green background, where we also discovered a zen vegetation (green bamboo canes and other leaves) that magically grows from the water following the beat of the music.
Then, from the horizon of the front screen, red and white petals start to appear flying towards the side screens. Simultaneously real petals fall on our viewers. The petals breeze crosses all screens and at a certain point they begin to clump together to start behaving like a "flock of starlings" that delight us with a rhythmic and relaxing choreography from one side of the room to another.
The red of the petals dominates the room as a cascade of water begins to fall from the top covering all the screens. 

4. Children's Mall (2 minutes total)
As the cascade freezes and cristalyzes a series of lines begin to draw in it creating the basis for a lattice. The blocks of the lattice move towards the front and evaporate upwards, creating the lattice holes. When the lattice is fully created, huge ribbons begin to fly around it entering and exiting through its holes.
The ribbons end up snaking in front of the lattice to start spinning in circles, as in rhythmic gymnastics. When this occurs, the lattice vanishes flying out towards the horizon. The ribbons end up in the center of the 3 screens creating curls that become huge colored rings tubes located parallel to the spectator runway.
The tubes are giant (1 per wall). They are sitting on what looks like the horizon when suddenly gigantic children faces appear from behind (2 boys and 1 girl) occupying almost the entire height of the screen. They stretch their hands towards the screen and catch the tubes turning them 90 degrees to look through. The tube back holes are now facing the audience who discovers that they are actually kaleidoscopes. This initiates a fantastic show of colors which rises from the kaleidoscope lens and ends up covering all 3 screens. After a few seconds of hypnotic kaleidoscopic spectacle, the pace of the turning drawings will decrease until it stops.
Just when the activity seems to calm down, we discovered that the multicolored walls that seemed simple drawings are in fact butterflies who start flapping their wings and fly around the room. When "detaching" from the walls they cast shadows on them.
This action unveils a light background on which silhouettes of children begin to appear. They jump trying to reach the butterflies, run around the room and interact in general with everything going on around them.
Then, the walls begin to rotate on the horizon axis to reveil huge piano keys on the floor. This is a new attraction for the children who begin to jump on the big piano keys to the beat of the soundtrack. Gradually the keys begin to increase their volume heigth creating a sinuous wave as if it was a slide on which the children slide out of the screens. The front face of the piano keys are red, just the same red as the Children's Mall box, and the piano keys have grown all the way up painting all the screens in red.
That’s when we’ll discover we were in fact inside the Children's Mall, because the red sidewalls will begin to unfold on themselves moving the box to the front screen and leaving it just in the diagonal position where we’ll find it in reality.
With this gigantic geometric shape on the front screen (the Children's Mall present box), we see how new planes are deployed to the sides of the box. This displays a huge geometric faces structure with multiple facets transporting the audience to what would appear to be the inside of a precious stones mine. A color changing light travels along this structure from one side to another recreating a very realistic sense of volume. First it looks like red rubies, then green emeralds and finally white diamonds. During the color transition we’ll have drifted apart the structure, and thus the horizon. By this time we’ll have already created a “frozen rain” of diamonds that will be floating suspended in the air casting shadows in our space.
After several seconds, as it happened before, diamonds will recover gravity and suddenly fall to the ground creating sparks when touching the ground and therefore a huge white flash that will allow us the transition to the next chapter: Hospitality.

5. Hospitality (2 minutes)
Suddenly, we see from the horizon of the front screen we see the entire mall come towards us at the speed of the light, abruptly stopping when reaching the side screens. As if it was a scene from the movie “Matrix”, we have placed our audience right in the middle of the main street of the mall. But just for a few seconds, since we will immediately begin to de-construct all the buildings to return to a more dream-like ambience.
We’re back in a silhouettes environment. We are in darkness from the prior scene. In the front screen we’ve drawn a big victorian door and in front of it we see the silhouette of a typical luxury hotel bellboy doing a low bow as we enter this new universe we’ve just created. The doors open and the projection makes us feel we enter a new space in which we discover endless samples exquisite service: A couple sitting in a table in what could be a terrace of a Parisian café where a "garçon" elegantly serves a cup of coffee, a dinner table where an "army of garçons" serves food on trays discovering the tops, 3 or 4 businessmen sitting on comfortable sofas while being served sparkling water on champagne glasses, maitre offering to taste several juices, etc. All we see at all times are dark outlined silhouettes and only the served objects are colored.
After focusing on each situation through spotlights, the silhouettes disappear leaving only the colored objects on screen: champagne glasses with sparkling water, tea/coffee cups, victorian type water glasses, caviar cristal trays, plates with silver tops, trays with fruit, etc. That’s when, carefully coreographed, copies of all these objects are displayed from behind themselves creating beautiful and simetrical arrays, covering the screens with beautiful mosaic patterns that will fade in and out with a delightful cadence. As we gently empty the screens the face of a chef appears. He slowly places his palm up in front of him and slowly blows upon it filling the screens with gold dust. A real golden confeti rain will enhance the audience experience. It’s time of the one before the last chapter. It's showtime.

6. Entertainment (1:45 minutes)
The disappearance of the golden dust have left the screens practically white. A huge nacre projection. It's time to refer to the rich cultural and artistic offer available in the mall. The joy and color will fulfil the room. Silhouettes of characters will appear on the nacre screens. We’ll first draw their faces painting with various colors brush like lines and form behind huge multicolored feathers will unfold creating fan like figures. We’ve been transported to a reproduction of the purest "Jember Fashion Carnival".
After enjoying this colorful spectacle for a few seconds, big color ink drops begin to fall from the sky. We’ll use them to mask the "Jember" characters out and bring up a myriad of musical instruments of various sizes. Saxophones, drums, cymbals, pianos, guitars, violins, etc. will appear on screen. And of course harps too. Some appear to be closer to us, others further away, creating a realistic sensation of space depth. They’re elegantly suspended in a delicate and very calm environment. It is the calm after the party, after the carnival. But it is also the perfect way to close the circle, to finish where we started. But also to state clearly that the experience and sensations we just lived are the closest thing to what visitors will live in the real mall when it opens.
That’s when we reproduce the scene that started the whole show but backwards this time. While other instruments disappear, we’ll focus on the harps cords that will fill the entire screen. Then the strings become the mall wireframe, then we begin to reconstruct it, to finally appear again in front of our audience.

7. Grand Finale (0,5 minutes)
And so we get to the final scene. Our spectators are where we wanted them to be, right in the central avenue of The Valley Mall. We cannot (and should not) end any other way than showing how the public will feel when visiting the mall. But we still need a "grand finale". An emotional bow to wrap up the sensations we just gifted our audience with. Yet we have already used all imaginable 4D and 3D mapping effects. How can we surprise our public once more?
Well, we will literally generate shiver in our audience by shivering the image itself. Once the mall is completely built and all the elements of the avenue are in place (carriages, people, etc.) some volumes of the façade will suddenly extrude from the main structure like a flick of the 3D mapping construction process. As if the building was literally shivering. Right after that we’ll see a live "time lapse". A magical change of time by moving the sun that we can only control, bringing the scene from noonday sun light to sunset light.
But it’s the music the one that will be the real star in this grand finale. A music "crescendo" will have started from the end of the previous scene gradually incorporating instrumentation and strength to this show final.
At this time from the bottom of the front screen we’ll explode a confeti canon hurling our viewers with a big cloud of confetti. When the cloud of confeti is blurring the room the music will really start to reach its peak. And when it seems we couldn’t go any higher on the excitement level, when through sight and touch nothing more can happen, it’s when the ear, the human sense that can generate the most amazing feelings, will reach its goal. A great string and wind section will take over the room to create that marvelous unforgettable moment this show deserves.
Making of
Original storyboard
Katara Plaza 4D mapping projection


Katara Plaza 4D mapping projection

750 square meter inmersive 4D mapping projection in Doha, Qatar.