This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
074


LED PROJECT / CHAMPS-ELYSEES, PARIS, FRANCE


The brief from the Comité des Champs-Elysées stipulated that no lights could be hung across the lanes of traffic, nor attached to the building facades. The trees that line the avenue were the


only remaining option for ACT Lighting who devised a modular structure of LED rings that could encircle 200 of the 588 available.


Photographs: Didier Boy La Tour


As the grande dame of Paris’s avenues and boulevards, the Champs-Elysées holds an important place at the heart of French cultural heritage. Running along the ‘Axe Historic’, it links together a selection of the capital’s landmark attractions, from the Arc de Triomphe, via the Place de la Concorde to the presidential Elysees Palace and the Jardin des Tulleries, leading to the Louvre beyond.


At the end of November, the Champs-Ely- sées, like its neighbours, is transformed with festive lights in the run up to Christ- mas. In the past, the decorations have aimed, with varying degrees of success, for an air of traditional elegance. This year, in a break with the past, there has been a radical shift in style; instead of loading the trees with swarms of traditional-style luminaires, the Comité des Champs-Elysées – the consortium representing the business stakeholders on the avenue – chose to adopt a stylish modern scheme, created by ACT Lighting Design.


Selected trees along the avenue – 200 of a


possible 588 – have each been encircled by a trio of illuminated rings. The three rings range in size from 3 metres to 3.8 metres in diameter. Rather than being attached to the tree, the rings are held in place by three metal poles that curve outwards from a concrete-donut base. Each ring is slightly offset from the last – the lower two are fixed to just two of the support poles with only the largest top ring supported by all three. RGB LED strips run around both the inner and outer edges of the rings, and are individually controllable to allow a mind- boggling range of lighting combinations. Opting for such a dramatic break with tradition was far from an overnight deci- sion. The process began back in 2009 when the project was opened up to tender. As might be expected of such a conserva- tively historic area, design options were limited: no fixtures could be attached to the building facades, nor could they hang across the roadway, or in any way obstruct the pavements. In short, the trees running down each side of the avenue were the only


element of the streetscape that could be il- luminated without offending the stakehold- ers’ sensibilities. Initially, the project appeared to lack much in the way of creative scope and for a long time the tender invitation sat relegated to the bottom of the pile in the ACT Lighting Design office. It was only in the final week before submissions were due that founder Koert Vermeulen and creative director Marcos Viñals really started to brainstorm ideas. At first nothing clicked, but then Mar- cos suggested using rings and the possibili- ties quickly began to snowball. An intensive weekend of work followed, during which their final submission dos- sier was perfected and – with the help of a colleague based in Paris – hand-delivered right on deadline. It was to be another eight months before they got the nod to begin putting the project into action. In the intervening months, there followed several rounds of presentations made in person to various different interested parties. First came a meeting with the stakehold-


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164  |  Page 165  |  Page 166  |  Page 167  |  Page 168  |  Page 169  |  Page 170  |  Page 171  |  Page 172  |  Page 173  |  Page 174  |  Page 175  |  Page 176  |  Page 177  |  Page 178  |  Page 179  |  Page 180