Every day, some 3,7 million visitors pass through Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. It is also considered the busiest transportation hub in the world. In an effort to revitalize this space, the East Japan Railway Company (JR-East) called on Moment Factory, in collaboration with Sony Music Solutions.

Moment Factory's mandate? Design a multimedia infrastructure that would arouse wonder, calm and contribute to fluid circulation. To bring JR-East's vision for its first multimedia project to life, technical and creative teams in Montreal and Tokyo leveraged the studio's expertise in optimizing high-traffic transportation hubs, image of its projects at Singapore-Changi Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and New York's Moynihan Train Hall.

The Color Bath is a large-scale multi-media ecosystem that transforms the East-West Passage into a harmonious environment. A combination of lights, sounds, videos and scenography envelops users in sensory serenity while maintaining the flow of pedestrian traffic. The Color Bath consists of a series of over 24 unique moments evoking the seasons and diverse stories of the region's distinct culture, re-imagining the tunnel as a representation of Shinjuku's pride.

Stretching 100 meters long by 25 meters wide, the passage accommodates within its walls more people on a daily basis than the total population of Austin, Texas. One of the major challenges of this project was therefore to increase the feeling of comfort and space within the narrow confines of the existing tunnel. It was also cluttered with a mosaic of signage, emergency messages and advertisements that the Moment Factory team had to deal with in designing the multimedia ecosystem.

"We designed a 'color bath' that synchronizes all the media surfaces in the space and surrounds visitors with colorful hues, one after the other, creating a soothing experience that also brings a bit of wonder into the user day,” explains Amy Chartrand, creative director at Moment Factory.

A once utilitarian and unattractive hallway, it is now awash in pleasant, warm hues. 

A 45-meter LED display, the largest of its kind in Japan, spans almost half the length of the thoroughfare, and strategically placed lighting adds depth and height to the space. Inspired by the vistas and diversity of the city of Shinjuku, an evolving cycle of videos reflects the time of day, different times of visitation and the changing seasons, ensuring an ever-changing experience. The integrated system architecture underlying the Color Bath creates a cohesive experience and offers multiple uses, such as brand display moments.

Beyond connecting commuters to the station, the East-West Passage is now a symbol of Shinjuku city pride. 

The multimedia installation was also rewarded nationally by winning the Grand Prix of the Digital Signage Awards 2021. "This is an extraordinary visionary project, this project demonstrates how we can improve an urban environment for the benefit to the public when we combine creativity, revenue generation and exploitation activities,” concludes Normand-Pierre Bilodeau, producer at Moment Factory.


Visuals ©: Moment Factory


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