a monthly round-up of the world's best interiors and design stories
QUARTIER DES SPECTACLES, MONTREAL
Friday 30 Mar 2012
The uniqueness of Montreal QDS lighting signature demonstrates that form can follow function with iconographic meaning: A family of lighting fixtures composed of mega-lighting structures, street lights and light candles.
The major urban renewal project, Quartier des Spectacles was commissioned to formalize a network of open theatres surrounding la Place des Arts, the cultural heart of Montreal. More than just creating event spaces, the project relates to place making, and to the definition of a public realm inspired by the genius loci of the site, once referred to as the red light district of Montreal.
The QDS is defined by multiple layers, lighting being one of the major components, present at day and night, delineating the vertical dimension of the spaces. In response to the specific needs of the new district, a family of lighting fixtures was designed composed of mega-lighting structures, street lights and light candles.
The mega-lighting structures, 24 m high, all made of steel, formalize the wall and the ceiling of the outside theatres and act as true urban beacons in the city. Freeing-up the ground space of the squares in festival mode, they also house the audio-visual closets at their base, responding to the technological needs of the events. Seven projectors at the head of the structure ensure square and street lighting and one red spot emulates the iconography of the red-light district.
The DNA of the street and candle lighting fixtures directly refers to the vocabulary of the light-truss associated to theatres. Vertically mounted, the reinterpreted truss becomes the upper-body of the urban furniture and offers the required flexibility for attachment of projectors and banners during the ephemeral events. Filigree design - the openness of the structure adds a level of transparency and immateriality to the lighting fixtures.
The repetition of the street lighting, creates rhythmed pedestrian promenades while the light candles characterize the public squares and offer a soft and refined lighting signature formalized by a bi-directional LED source at the head. Entirely of aluminium, the multiple pieces are mechanically fastened, an innovation in the field. The uniqueness of the lighting signature of the QDS demonstrates that form can follow function with iconographic meaning.