One of the world’s biggest 8K screens is one part of a major uphaul of visitor experience at The Star, where a $22 million renovation has transformed the new Grand Foyer into an immersive visual experience.  

One fragment of a $65 million redesign of the building’s Pyrmont entrance, the Grand Foyer is part light, part water and part digital gallery. 

The Star Grand Foyer Aquatique

Key elements include:

  • A 25-metre-long, touch-sensitive 8K resolution screen (one of the world’s biggest) which will feature almost 9,000 hours of content from local artists and students throughout the year
  • Aquatique, a massive indoor water feature, using 100 percent recycled water, which will interact with the other visual elements 
  • Theatrical light shows by world-renowned lighting specialist Ramus Illumination.

“Architecture, contemporary art and technology have converged to form an iconic showpiece that delivers a unique, unexpected and dynamic arrival experience for our guests,” says Dino Mezzatesta, chief operating officer of The Star. 

“The new Grand Foyer includes a 25-metre-long, 8K resolution crescent shaped screen which will showcase the works of emerging and established Australian artists, university students, cinematographers and animators. The screen content reacts dynamically to the real-world environment and human movement, encouraging guest interaction.

“Inspiration behind the artworks was drawn from The Star’s proximity to the busy Sydney Harbour shoreline – and the constant ebb and flow of human activity within the Pyrmont area

“Alongside the digital canvas is the first sculptural water installation of its design in the Southern Hemisphere – the ‘Aquatique’ artwork of falling water. The integration of Aquatique, LED screens, lasers, lighting and live performances is a world-first for an entertainment precinct.”

The Star Grand Foyer renovation

When technology and architecture meet

The 8K technology is completely new to architecture, according to The Star. There are very few examples of permanent installations embedded into architecture, most likely due to challenges around embedding a future-proof interactive system and permanently embedding a canvas of this size and scale. 

Building-wise, the new lobby was a significant undertaking, with construction taking 20 months to complete. Changes to the structure include the replacement of ceiling fabric panels, new lights, recladding of columns, redesign of water cascades, new wall cladding with embedded LED strips, full replacement of the marble floor, new revolving doors to better control the airflow in the space, the build of Aquatique and the installation of the digital infrastructure.

The Star hopes to improve the experience of the 20,000 people who already access the west entrance each day, while also attracting new visitors and generating more tourism by making a reputation as Australia’s leading resort company. 

“[The renovation] gives us an opportunity to put some real thought behind the visual aspects of The Star entertainment precinct and what you stop and look at,” says Mezzatesta. 

“We’ve made sure it is interactive so people do want to immerse themselves in it, bringing to life the content and even the culture that Sydney has to offer.” 

Not only will the new display act as a gallery for local artists and students, but the Grand Foyer will play host to a wide range of performances that will integrate all three key aspects of the space. A completely immersive visual experience, the side wall panels and ceiling will also be part of the show.