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LIVING CONNECTIONS –
THE JACQUES-CARTIER BRIDGE LIGHTS

From the original concept to the final realization, Ambiances Design Productions participated in every stage leading to the creation of ”Living Connections ”; the digital illumination masterpiece transforming one of the most iconic architectural bridge structures in Montreal. More specifically, ADP was involved in the design and development of the light and digital language. It led the team responsible for the design of the vertical structures’ illumination referred to as “the skin”, which expresses the digital interpretation of the pulse of Montreal. ADP also participated in the selection of the technical solutions and collaborated with the engineering team. Last but not least, they contributed to the design and development of content and programming.

LIVING CONNECTIONS – THE JACQUES-CARTIER BRIDGE LIGHTS UP from Ambiances Design on Vimeo.

Read more about this project


THE JACQUES-CARTIER BRIDGE’S LIGHTING DESIGN WILL TURN IT INTO AN INTERACTIVE PUBLIC SPACE

When the Jacques-Cartier Bridge turns on the lights in May 2017, it’ll do more than illuminate a structure that connects Montreal to the South Shore. In addition to its colour-changing, LED-based lighting design, the project will also use hues that reflect the seasons, the weather, or special events, while allowing the public to interact with and impact the fixtures via mobile devices.

For more information, visit montrealgazette.com or 375mtl.com.


TO REINVENT GRAIN ELEVATORS

As we approach the beginning of September, we would like to share with you a preview of the excitement for the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator kinetic illumination project underway started this summer at Buffalo, New York, USA. Having worked for almost two years on this major artistic intervention following the design of the visual master plan in 2012 to showcase the industrial heritage of the city, and in collaboration with the architecture firm Foit-Albert Associates, the opening is coming soon.

This revitalization project implemented by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation aims to alleviate the effects of the deindustrialization and the apparition of wastelands by developing a new recreational destination, and making the waterfront spaces a cultural and urbanistic laboratory. The best way to embellish and, a fortiori, to enhance attractiveness of a city, is through the edification of predominant visual icons serving as landmarks able to reinforce a feeling of belonging and sketch a positive solution against the desertification of certain areas and build the brand of a territory. Over the next few weeks, beach, ferry, restaurants and picnic areas will work aside a contemplative light show with 4 distinct programmes that will be presented nightly and alternatively throughout the year. Once programming is completed in October, the themes will be unveiled at a press conference which will mark the start of a must-attend rendezvous with the general public.

To achieve this public space intervention, we used LED fixtures (light-emitting diode) contained in the pantheon of green technologies require little maintenance with Low energy consumption. The installation, completely automated by a lighting control system, consists of 550 units positioned all around the building totalling a projection surface of 465 feet long by 110 feet high, all of which together forming a 360 degrees beacon light. With the artwork Aurora Borealis presented in Quebec City’s old port since 2010, Ambiances Design Productions is enjoying its second intervention on grain elevators.

For the last few years, the grain elevators architecture, and more generally the industrial architectural heritage, has been rediscovered by the citizens of port cities, in particular via a sensory approach of the buildings to which a new aesthetical function is attributed. The envelope becomes a fully medium of creation. These anonymous structures that witnessed the economy of a different era are today the expression of a collective identity, the starting-point of an open air museography and the point of convergence between innovation and urban regeneration. We recall the admiring comment by the internationally renowned architect Le Corbusier who declared in 1923 « Thus we have the American grain elevators and factories, the magnificent first fruits of a new age ». Almost 100 years later, it seems to have passed through time without a mark.


ON THE ROAD TO THE PURPLE REVOLUTION !

Two weeks ago, we were pleased to announce our participation to the design team for the kinetic and interactive illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge in 2017. Quickly, stigmatizing comments about the waste of money did not take long to come. For those who missed it, we invite you to read the enlightening article by François Cardinal in La Presse providing guidance on the real challenges involved in this signature project. To stimulate discussion, we wanted to share our opinion and declare our belief in the virtuous alliance between culture and economy.

Montréal’s 375th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Confederation demonstrate a new development in the ascension of the city in the TOP 10 most capital cities in the world. The holding of these large-scale festivities is a wonderful opportunity to set an important signal ensuring major economic spinoffs that will contribute to its future development. Furthermore, we are witnessing a series of exciting initiatives such as Je vois MTL/Je fais MTL or the Smart City Expo aiming to build the city of tomorrow. The sense of ownership and belonging is certainly present. It is essential to cultivate it for generations to come through projects involving strong creative potential, the last one becoming the torch-bearers of our busy metropolis.

If the cities are sometimes in cooperation with others, they nonetheless compete against each other. Montreal is regularly blamed for its lack of architectural unity, unable to effectively valorise its heritage, but we often forget that it is considered as a UNESCO City of Design since 2006.The signature project of the Jacques Cartier Bridge is an opportunity to ask ourselves what role can play art and architecture in the evolution of the urban space. More broadly, it gives us the chance to get the merits of the involvement of the actors from the cultural and creative industries in the public space, and the link between an artistic intervention and built heritage.

The aestheticization of the city as much as the presence of a creative ecosystem are factors that forge not only a cultural dimension to a territory, but also its own identity and ambiance, traducing our commitment to its aura, to what emerges from it and all that is in it. Being an end or a means, creativity is first and foremost a state of mind. With innovation and knowledge-based economy, it forms a successful trio for every city which bets on growing in the supranational framework.

This leads us directly to the notion of purple economy established in Europe in 2011, the colour purple symbolizing creativity and imagination. According to the definition proposed by a working group that brought together UNESCO and the OECD, « The purple economy refers to taking account of cultural aspects in economics. It designates an economy that adapts to the human diversity in globalization and that relies on the cultural dimension to give value to goods and services.” In this way, it points out the factors based on innovation and invigoration of human activities helping to improve the cultural vitality of a region.

So, will the purple revolution spread throughout Canada to bring new energy to Montreal on the occasion of its jubilee and the 150th anniversary of Confederation? While waiting for future development of what promises to be a year as enriching as unifying for the local artistic and cultural community, we commend the efforts made by the city of Montreal and the organizational body for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary, which we hope will be sustainable and go far beyond the festivities.


Foret updated

ENCHANTED FOREST RENEWAL

We are pleased to submit our last artistic adventures in forest lands! Indeed, since 2007 we have been working to create a new wave of pixels covering the Enchanted Forest, a gigantic multimedia artwork totalling 450 feet in length (137m) of video projection surface mirrored in a lake.

This ground-breaking project in Quebec, if not the world, allows for the lighting and the animation of the forest through a range of visual atmospheres reflected in textures and abstract motifs that are prone to the contemplation. The natural screen of projection requires a particular attention both to the content approach, the dimension of the objects projected on it and the colour contrasts. Its organic aspect implies a continuous adaptation of the technical constraints to the forest physiognomy, revealing holes made by fallen trees or, inversely, showing new tree-tops and branches. This technical feat is a summit meeting between nature and visual arts and for which we developed an utmost expertise.

This year, three new themes were considered, focusing on a Celtic-origin myth, a Quebec folk tale and a country. We therefore rethought in a surrealistic and dreamlike way the famous Liebestod piece from the final aria of the opera of Tristan and Isolde by Wagner. This was accompanied by a live performance in a gondola on a music sung by the lyrical singer Jessye Norman. We have also drawn on the legend of the Flying Canoe telling the story of a group of loggers from Gatineau who had entered into a pact with the Devil to visit their family for the New Year’s Eve. Finally, we paid homage to China where a thousand year-old culture and modern realities are celebrated in a visual poem that contains the symbols used in popular arts and traditions, as well as icons of the architectural and urban heritage.

After so many years of moving this magical and original project forward, with which all of our collaborators fell in love, we to reconstruct the artwork’s genesis through the publication for non-commercial purpose of a retrospective book, Ambiances design Productions ensuring the editorial coordination.


A VISUAL MASTER PLAN FOR BUFFALO

Since 2012, Ambiances Design Productions worked to design and develop a visual master plan for the visual enhancement of the industrial heritage in the City of Buffalo. Most buildings and sites are located in the city downtown and waterfront area by Lake Erie. Following the work of developing the visual masterplan, our company has since started the design of several multimedia projects to provide the public in Buffalo with a set of nighttime installations with the objectives of the revitalization of designated areas and the creation of new destinations for the community and the tourist.


Salon Urbain PDA

SALON URBAIN / PLACE DES ARTS

Ambiances Design Productions participated in the design of the Salon Urbain at Place des Arts, a contemporary public space adjacent to the theater L’Addresse Symphonique. Indeed, the company was given the mandate to do architectural lighting design of the space and the control of it.  The team has also create a spectacular multi facet ceiling system in the main room and created a custom ceiling light feature using LED technology and a control system for broadcasting video content and create unique light textures creating vibrant atmospheres!

PUBLICATIONS

Aurora Borealis – Canadian Interiors
Aurora Borealis – Dexigner
Aurora Borealis – Hors série
Aurora Borealis – Illuminazione Architetti
Aurora Borealis – Journal de Montréal
Aurora Borealis – L+D Mars 2010
Aurora Borealis – L+D Avril 2010
Aurora Borealis – Lighting Design Collection
Aurora Borealis – Lighting Today
Aurora Borealis – Metropolis Avril 2010
Aurora Borealis – Mondo Arc Jan-Mars 2010
Aurora Borealis – Pierre Pelchat – La Presse
Aurora Borealis – Professional Lighting Design – Mars 2010

Marquise du Casino de Montrél – Art of Life 
DIFF – Les Affaires – Septembre 2009 
Forêt enchantée – L+D Décembre 2008
Forêt enchantée – L+D Décembre 2008
Forêt enchantée – L+D Février 2009
Forêt enchantée – Professional Lighting & Production – Printemps 2009 
Fresque de nuit – SSL – Octobre 2013 
Moulin à images – Flare – Janvier 2009
Moulin à images – INT – Octobre 2008
Moulin à images – Lighting Design – Août-septembre 2008
Moulin à images – Lux – Novembre 2008
Moulin à images – Monitor – 2008
Moulin à images – Tasarim – Décembre 2008
Moulin à images – The Image Mill by Ambiances
Moulin à images – Urban_Environment-Design – Février 2008 
Moulin à images + Forêt enchantée – Ambiances Barzon – Décembre 2008 
Reflective Flow – Reflective Flow for UNFAIR 
The Cube – AZURE COVER – Août-septembre 2011 


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