The MSG Sphere, Madison Square Garden’s proposed stadium will beam adverts into locals’ faces all day – but critics are questioning the planning process.
As planning applications go, it’s certainly got balls. Or, to be precise, one massive ball. A gigantic glowing orb, as wide as the London Eye and almost as tall as Big Ben, is planned to descend on Stratford, bulging on to the skyline like a great artificial sun, dazzling the East End with the power of 36m LEDs.
This is the MSG Sphere, the latest live entertainment concept from New York’s Madison Square Garden company, purveyors of high-octane razzmatazz since 1879. “The world’s most famous arena” in Manhattan has hosted everyone from the Rolling Stones to Muhammad Ali beneath its great circular roof; but, in London, they want to go one better. The sphere, they say, is designed for “the next generation of immersive experiences”, featuring the biggest and highest-resolution screen in the world, an “infrasound haptic system” of vibrating floors, and “beamforming” audio technology to channel sound to every seat. But its most extreme, and controversial, feature is what’s on the outside: the building’s facade is a five-acre spherical TV screen, like Times Square rolled into a ball. It is set to glow 24 hours a day, covered with animated adverts for half the time, flickering right outside people’s bedroom windows...
The Guardian: Does London really need a gigantic glowing orb the height of Big Ben?