Land Securities - Westgate Timelapse Project

The Brief

Land Securities are the largest commercial property company in the UK and a member of the FTSE 100. The company has recently begun a 3 year project to demolish and built a large portion of the Westgate Centre - a shopping centre in the west end of Oxford.

The 800,000 sq ft retail-led mixed use development will have a 13,000 sq m flagship John Lewis as its anchor department store, and is due to open in late 2017. The new Westgate Centre will provide space for shops, restaurants, cafés and leisure uses including a boutique 5- screen Curzon Cinema, set in a mix of covered streets, arcades, lanes and squares.

Liquid Light were asked to find a way to record the entire 30 month-long demolition and build process whilst also giving online viewers a ‘fly on the wall’ view of the project’s progress day and night. At the end of the project we will also need to collate and compress over 30,000 high resolution images into an HD quality timelapse video. Oh - and we had about 4 weeks to scope and set the whole thing up!

The Challenge

So how can we take high resolution, high quality, photos from a high vantage position, in all weathers, day and night with ‘always on’ online access where we have no access to wifi?

Well - we build a custom timelapse rig that is comprised of a weather-proof, thermostatically controlled housing inside which we placed a computer-controlled DSLR camera, a mini, remote controlled PC, raided flash storage, and a high speed, 4g data connection to enable us to take a high res photos every 20 minutes, 7 days a week for 3 years. The photos are stored locally and are also backed up to the cloud for online access and off site back up. We have set up monitoring software to ensure we know if photos fail to upload.

The Result

The demolition is now well under way and the timelapse rig is performing admirably. An online feed has been added to the Westgate Centre website.