The iconic Metz Cathedral in France recently celebrated its 800th anniversary. For this occasion, numerous events were organized to highlight the Gothic monument, renowned for its large stained glass windows designed by Marc Chagall. The program included creating illuminated text throughout the cathedral that described its spiritual and artistic heritage. Lighting designers at Quartiers Lumieres, in collaboration with the graphic design studio Nouvelle Étiquette, integrated Rosco Image Spots® and Custom Glass Gobos into a design that embodied the concept of a spiritual journey. The gobo projections were so effective that the cathedral left them glowing after the celebration, and continue to use them to this day.
Below, designers at Nouvelle Étiquette described the intent of the overall design:
“A text in an archipelago… Within the Cathedral, darkness and silence lead the visitor to meditation. A very particular atmosphere governs the place; a noise tinkles and an infinite number of echoes are heard in the space, the voices are heavy and are diffused for a long time until they fade away. In order to install a light trail in the building, we have to keep these particularities in mind and show nuance: having too powerful projections would be like shouting loudly in a place where people come to seek silence. On the visitor’s path, we choose to install a fragmented text, which can be read without any defined order or injunction. The projections act as invitations: to look up, to pay attention to a detail that had escaped us, to be moved by a poetic word. A text that is simply whispered to us, and that will sometimes fade away to make room for natural light or the reflection of stained glass windows.”
To achieve their design, numerous 3000K Image Spot gobo projectors were discreetly installed in various parts of the cathedral to project poetic text onto the walls, floor, and columns. The content, created in a bespoke typeface inspired by medieval inscriptions, was converted into black and white glass gobos. The gobo designs were also keystone-corrected to ensure that the text would be properly displayed when projected at oblique horizontal and vertical angles. The designers then used the appropriate Image Spot Lens Optic accessories to produce the optimal image size on every projection surface. The DMX fixtures are controlled individually and are programmed to slowly and subtly fade in & out.
“The Image Spot projectors, sized to suit the project and DMX controllable, project perfectly sized images to fit in with the architectural details and warm lighting,” said Lionel Bessieres, Lighting Designer and the owner of Quartiers Lumieres. “These projections appear very slowly to fit into the spirit of the place.”
Designers at Nouvelle Étiquette explained that “the key to the success of this installation was to control the intensity of the projections while preserving the legibility of the texts.” The 3000K Image Spot fixtures met this requirement by creating gobo projections in warm light without compromising the sharpness of the projected textual image.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit the French city of Metz, don’t miss the opportunity to marvel at its majestic cathedral with its amazing stained glass windows and its subtle gobo projections.
To learn more about Quartiers Lumieres’ work visit their website: quartierslumieres.com. For more information about the light fixtures they used to create a poetic path inside the Metz Cathedral, explore the Image Spot product page on the Rosco website.
Photo credits: Romain Gamba, Nouvelle Étiquette
Mock-up design: Quartiers Lumieres