Lonely Planet Writer

See this former foundry in Paris transformed into a giant colourful canvas

A brand new digital art centre is opening inside a former foundry in Paris that will see cutting edge technology transform the entire building into one gigantic canvas of over 3000-square-metres.

The project sees 140 projectors transforming the foundry into a canvas for art.
The project sees 140 projectors transforming the foundry into a canvas for art. Image by Atelier des Lumières

Opening on 13 April in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, between the Bastille and Nation stations, the Atelier Des Lumiéres will be the first of its kind in the city and was voted one of the top new travel experiences in 2018 by Lonely Planet. Utilising 140 video projectors and a specialised sound system, the centre will create immersive multimedia experiences for visitors by showing digitized images of masterpieces, some of which move to music, on the floors, ceilings and walls of the building.

“Our wish is to offer a different and innovative experience in the way of understanding art. The digital shift also makes it possible to cope with the difficulty of mounting exhibitions with major works of art history, sometimes even too fragile to be moved,” Culturespaces, the organisation behind the project, told Lonely Planet Travel News. The establishment of the Atelier Des Lumiéres follows the success of the Carrières de Lumières, a project that has seen similar projections being displayed inside a cave at Les Baux-de-Provence since 2012, an event that attracts approximately 600,000 people every year.

A special programme on the works of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt and his former student Egon Schiele will be part of the centre's launch.
A special programme on the works of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt and his former student Egon Schiele will be part of the centre’s launch. Image by Atelier des Lumières

The new venture includes three permanent exhibitions in two separate areas called La Halle and Le Studio, and for the opening, a special programme on the works of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt and his former student Egon Schiele will play for approximately 30 minutes in La Halle. In Le Studio, visitors will be greeted by a range of contemporary work by experienced and emerging artists, with food and drinks available at the far end of the studio.

Built in the nineteenth Century, the Plichon Iron Foundry that houses the exhibition still includes many of its original architectural elements, such as industrial chimneys, drying towers and water tanks, all of which serve as backdrops for the vibrant art projections. More information on visiting Atelier Des Lumiéres is available at the official website.