Can a billboard ever be a thing of beauty?

This was the challenge we faced in the construction of a new digital advertising space, placed at a key junction on the West Cromwell Road in West London.

Video:https://www.youtube.com/embed/jyl1B5OBNYQ

The striking landmark replaces the current, standard screen with a stunning Zaha Hadid-designed ‘ribbon’ structure. 30 metres long and nine metres wide, the billboard incorporates a curved digital screen surrounded by two flowing ribbons of matt stainless steel.

“We started on site in July 2017,” said Michael Keverne, Buro Happold associate director, who worked on the project. “There was an existing basement box which we renovated and adapted to accommodate the billboard. The build took just over a year, and Buro Happold engineers worked on the civil, structural and lighting aspects of the project.”

Care had to be taken around the lighting design to ensure there wasn’t any spillage of light, but this shows street furniture doesn’t have to be boring!
Michael Keverne, Buro Happold

Michael added that care had to be taken around the lighting design, as engineers had to ensure there wasn’t any ‘spill’ into the line of traffic, and also that any illumination did not take away from the advertisement itself.

Model showing the changes our lighting design experts made to reduce light ‘spill’ and improve overall illumination of the structure. Image: Buro Happold

Buro Happold has produced digital billboards in the past for sports stadia, but this is the first roadside advertising billboard we have produced. Our client, JCDecaux owns the site and as a result of ‘The Kensington’s’ success, Buro Happold has been asked to submit a proposal for another architecture-led advertising board.

BuroHappold’s structural and civil engineering teams along with our lighting design experts worked closely with designers Zaha Hadid Architects and Patrik Schumacher to make this striking vision viable.

All images, videos/animation copyright Buro Happold.

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