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Lighting Designer
Koert Vermeulen
ACT Design

An important mall located in Mons, about 60 Km south of Brussels, “Les Grands Prés” also represents a lighting technology project of considerable importance: for a few months the façade of the building has been lit with colours and graphic effects constituting a scenic element of great appeal.

Creative lighting of commercial structures open to the public is not a novelty in itself since it is widely used as a visual communication tool by many companies involved in mass and medium distribution. The novelty of the “Mons – Les Grands Prés” project lies in the type of spotlights used: effects projectors able not only to diffuse the colour but also to project pictures and writings, or to draw precise and imaginative shapes with light.

Rain Spot 575 from Clay Paky is currently the only IP65 product on the market able to meet this requirement: it is provided with advanced optics, with four interchangeable lenses with 18° to 46° beam angles, electronic focusing and an effects section consisting of 4 fixed gobos, 4 indexable rotating gobos, 4 rotating prisms, dimmer and immediate beam stop.

“The “Mons – Les Grands Prés” project was developed in parallel with the entry of the Rain Spot 575 onto the market” – said Koert Vermeulen, Lighting & Production Designer of ACT Design, who took part in valorising the whole commercial area, mainly concentrating on the light design of “Les Grands Prés”. “Our client wanted impact lighting that would also characterise the outside of the building, turning it into an immediately recognisable reference point. What made this project very stimulating, in fact, is the context in which it is located: Les Grands Prés is sited just outside the city centre, in a new area developed specifically for leisure and entertainment activities, very near to a multi-hall cinema and with many other projects in course of implementation”.

Koert continued: “We looked around and saw that, in practice, there was no IP65 graphic effects projector available. The alternative would have been to make do with a washlight or to use IP20 effects projectors which, however, would have to be covered with inconvenient and ugly transparent protections to protect them against the weather.

The Rain Spot 575 entered the market almost simultaneously and truly resolved all our problems because it made powerful and creative lighting available to us, releasing us from any problem connected with the use of rain shields. 38 Rain Spot 575 have been installed along the main façade of the structure (430m long x 10m high) and various combinations of effects and colour have been preprogrammed. In particular we have appreciated the decorative glass gobos and use them very often; when they are combined with colour variations they create a highly suggestive frosted effect”

The commercial operation was managed by Didier Courbe from DCD Lighting S.A. of Nivelles, with the contribution of Christian Stenuit for the design and implementation phase.

The inside of the structure is also very rich with lights. Projectors with different colour temperatures have been used to create contrast atmospheres in the spaces, concentrating, in particular, on the access areas to the commercial centre and the refreshment ones. In total, inside, 134 CP Color 150 colour changers from Clay Paky have been used, as well as over 1300 conventional light points.

The “Les Grands Prés” commercial centre covers a total area of 45,000 m2, with a very extensive parking lot of 90,000 m2 and a ferry bus service connecting it directly with the city centre. The outskirts of Mons, lively, well organised and luminous, is increasingly typifying itself as one of the most interesting entertainment “piazzas” is the whole of Europe.