CityCenterDC Unveils State-of-the-Art Kinetic Art Gateway

Thursday, June 26, 2014

By Rachel Rose Hartman

Floating bubbles, tap dancers, Metro trains and an aerialist flew across the screens at CityCenterDC's new kinetic art gateway Wednesday during their grand unveiling.

Tourists, residents and visitors alike can now visit "The Gateway at CityCenter," a three-plane, 25-foot high, 50-foot wide digital art feature that spans the sidewalls and ceiling leading into CityCenterDC's courtyard near H Street NW between 9th and 10th streets. The screens will display short animated vignettes created by media artist David Niles from 8:00 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily as part of a public space initiative for all to enjoy. The DowntownDC BID works to promote dynamic placemaking in public space. 

"What a phenomenal addition to the growing development of the District of Columbia," D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said at Wednesday's unveiling after thanking developer Hines for their work creating the 10-acre mixed-use development CityCenterDC. 

Gray noted that DowntownDC was once filled with parking lots, but today it's filled with vibrant retail and residential space. "1,200 people are moving into D.C. a month because it's the place to be," Gray said. He added that it isn't buildings, it's culture, that "makes a city great." 

The gateway is fed by a content delivery system with artificial intelligence. The images are accompanied by sound and music, which adjust automatically to the time of day (subdued programming in the evening and more vibrant content during the day.) The high-definition imagery encompasses five themes: dance, architecture, illusion, space and water.

 Hines representatives confirmed Wednesday that local artists will be invited to participate in the programming, which will never include advertising or promotional materials.

CityCenterDC has been working to build outreach in the community and has been holding public events including "Toned Up Tuesdays" free workouts and children's programming. The development is now home to a FRESHFARM Farmers' Market on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Howard Riker, managing director for Hines, said Wednesday that CityCenterDC's existing public programming in addition to the new gateway "will help to make this project... a center of the city for all Washingtonians."

So bring your lunch to the CityCenterDC courtyard or stop by after a night on the town and check out what's on display at the new Gateway!