Lightemotion has been a key player in the revamping of the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme in Place des Arts in Montreal for its 50th anniversary, working very closely with consortium architects Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux and Provencher Roy + Associes, under the artistic direction of Luc Plamondon, project manager for Place des Arts.
The revamping project, begun in May 2009, included the renovation of all entrances and marquees for the five theatres in the Place des Arts complex. In addition, a box-office area, a multifunctional exhibit space, and a central theatre space under a series of immense skylights were created. These changes made it possible to highlight the artwork by Pierre Granche, create a modern wine bar - Place Deschamps - equipped with a small stage, and set up a multimedia zone located in the renovated central corridor. The project also included changes to the outdoor facade of the main entrance and the esplanade. A large marquee embraces the main entrance, and the esplanade has been equipped with signature custom-made lampposts designed by Lightemotion specifically for Place des Arts.
The key deliverables were focused on the creation of a flexible lighting system that would change at different times of day as the cultural space caters to different clienteles and activities. The main objective was to create a fusion between light and architecture, with lighting emanating from different elements to create a fuller and more integrated experience. While delicate shades of light from various sources permeate the space, dynamic signature wall showcases modulate the visual environment throughout the day.
People passing through the Espace culturel in the morning hours experience a soothing, warm pulsing light. Later in the day, people passing through the space have a different sensory experience as the lighting creates more dynamic movements in vibrant hues. During the evening hours, the entire space is transformed into a contemporary performance centre reflecting the cultural activities in the five performance halls through various interactions of lighting dynamics that create subtle changes in the space.
Custom fixtures were designed for all areas of the Espace culturel. A signature downlight that incorporates a luminous LED disk serves as general lighting and also creates visual sightlines that define the space's different areas. The luminous disks are individually controlled via DMX and create different movements and patterns, adding to the space's visual signature.
Special crackled-glass hanging fixtures were created for the wine bar; the fixtures are equipped with long bulbs with a "dancing" filament, once again generating subtle lighting movements that establish an intimate environment for all occasions. These fixtures are scattered around the area, and a cluster of them is placed over the lightest parts of the bar.
Photos: Martine Doyon