Paris, 20 November 2018 – SPIE CityNetworks, a SPIE subsidiary devoted to local development and to energy and digital networks, has been selected by the Departmental Council and the Syndicat Intercommunal d’Energies d’Indre-Et-Loire (the intercommunal energy board of the Indre-Et-Loire department) to install the permanent lighting for the Royal Fortress of Chinon. This new installation will be inaugurated on the 30th of November.
Built on a rocky plateau that dominates the Vienne, the Royal Fortress of Chinon is one of the architectural gems of Indre-et-Loire. Selected in January 2018, CityNetworks carries out all of the lighting works on the fortress. The aim of this new lighting is to showcase the nocturnal identity of the site by giving it a new dimension, both spectacular and modern.
A customised design with innovative equipment
Drawing on the support of the specialist agencies NoctaBene & Kandela, in close cooperation with Martine Ramat, heritage architect responsible for designing the lighting, SPIE CityNetworks has installed 316 projectors supported by 32 specially dimensioned totems (from 1.5 to 7 metres in height). The aim of this arrangement is to highlight the reliefs and specificities of the fortress. LED strip lights draw attention to certain architectural details and have also been positioned in certain areas, such as the Clock Tower.
In order to ensure optimum communication between each lighting point, a fibre optic network was deployed both in the interior and on the exterior of the fortress. The entire installation can thus be controlled via an automaton, on which several lighting scenarios combining white and notes of colour can be programmed depending on the seasons and events.
Logistics adapted to a unique environment
The civil engineering works were the object of specific measures. Thus, when creating the electrical and fibre optic networks, the SPIE CityNetworks team was permanently supported by an archaeological survey team tasked with conducting surveys when each trench was dug.
The totems were assembled on the site. In certain areas that are inaccessible to vehicles, such as the moats, rope access technicians were tasked with installing the network and handling the equipment. Finally, given that it is impossible to install a fibre optic network at the top of the Clock Tower, a “radio bridge” that transmits the DMX signal(1) was used in its place.
"As the contract was awarded in January, the works have had to be carried out within a particularly short timeframe", points out Gilles Duguin, lighting engineer and Smart City business manager within SPIE CityNetworks. "The civil engineering teams started their assignment in February with a view to completing it in May, just before the tourist season starts. The lighting teams then took over so that the first trials could be conducted in November and the installation could be ready for its inauguration on the 30th of November." In order to be able to carry out their duties within the set deadlines, the SPIE teams were able to draw on the experience they previously acquired from showcasing Château d’Amboise.
Previously only partially lit up, the Royal Fortress of Chinon will now be showcased in its entirety by nocturnal lighting emanating from the lower terraces, the interior of the castle and from the gardens.
(1) DMX is a data transmission standard that is essentially used to control stage lighting and effects in live performing arts.
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