As part of the heritage restoration of the bell tower of the former Saint-Jacques church, an emblematic architectural component of the Université du Québec à Montréal campus, one of UDO’s objectives was to create a distinctive nocturnal signature on the scale of the city by means of an evolving luminous identity highlighting the architectural details and volumes on the 4 faces of the iconic building.
5 lively tableaux follow one another over a period of 15 minutes in order to punctuate each hour in four stages. Each tableau highlights certain architectural aspects in order to create a particular vision of the bell tower.
The first posture, the awakening, highlights the texture of the stone through the use of warm whites. The illumination of the high lantern creates an urban appeal at the beginning of each cycle.
Then, the stretching sequence reveals the verticality of the building. The lighting mood created with neutral and cool whites is animated so that the eye wanders from bottom to top.
The following posture, the heart, a more sustained lighting coming from the interior of the bell tower makes us discover the openings, the windows, the rose window. The contrast between the illumination of the walls (weak and warm for the atmosphere) and the windows (neutral white for more impact) amplifies the lantern effect and the luminous breathing of the building.
This is followed by a scene where the whole is illuminated, expressing the vitality of the bell tower in the urban landscape. A play of intensity in the illumination develops effects of depth, expressing all the presence of the bell tower.
The fifth and last posture, the relaxation, ends the lighting scenarization by luminous expressions highlighting the ends of the building, the spire and the pedestrian space. The transition between the two is achieved through a gradation in the lighting of the buttresses and the accent on the arches.
The bell tower gradually calms down until it catches its breath in a new sequence of architectural postures.
UQAM (Université du Québec À Montréal) & PQDS (Partenariat du Quartier Des Spectacles)
Design | Production | Realization
SCENARISATION | Architecture, Exterior, Heritage, Cultural
Saint-Denis Thompson, Céga
Photographer : Nathalie St-Pierre (UQAM)