Chapelle Corneille, France
PLACES: Best Interior Lighting Scheme – High Budget
A seventeenth century chapel and historical monument, La Chapelle Corneille, in Rouen, was renovated and transformed to become the Normandy Region auditorium, a concert hall for chamber and choral music. It opened to the public in February 2016.
The architectural lighting design respects the integrity of historical volumes and features. With only three principles, all the lighting functions are provided in the chapel: ambient lighting, stage lighting and the beautification of the baroque decorative elements.
At the transept crossing, a monumental spherical chandelier of 6,5 meters in diameter catches the public attention when walking into the chapel. During the day or before concerts, the mirror hemisphere of the chandelier is directed to the ground, reflecting the whole picture of the architecture in an anamorphosis effect. When concerts start, the spherical chandelier turns silently on its axis to show its other hemisphere, composed of 344 dimmable custom designed Led luminaires called “Pampilles”, displayed in nine rings. 40 heating tubes are also located on the rings and a 6,5 diameter acoustic lens is hidden in the middle of the sphere: height and orientation of the monumental chandelier can be adjusted according to acoustic needs of each concert.
The general ambient lighting and the beautification of the decorative features (sculpted cornices, altars, paintings) are provided by 15 custom design chandeliers hanged to the keystones under the vaults. The shape and the location of those chandeliers conjure up the historical lighting system of many churches. On every chandelier, a group of small LED projectors from 13W to 30W is displayed: there are 193 dimmable projectors in total for the whole chapel.
Standing custom designed luminaires called “luminaires console” are displayed on the pillars at 3 meters high: they take part in the general atmosphere and create visual presences at an intermediate high in the vast volume of the chapel. The luminaires are composed of a plastic cylinder lit from the base by a Led module. This tube has a gradation from translucency at the base to transparency at the top, for a smooth lighting effect. At the top of the luminaire, a half-sphere small mirror shines, to create a “play of brilliants” and a “fractal” echo to the monumental spherical chandelier of the chapel.
The architects decided to build all the new equipment for the concert hall under the chapel (entrance, ticket office, foyer, bar, cloakroom, restrooms). Architecture as well as lighting contrast voluntarily with the baroque chapel level using a very contemporary design. Graphic lines of light provide ambient lighting in the foyer. Above the bar and the cloakroom counter, golden suspended lamps create a welcoming visual presence.
The metallic staircase is characterized by a lighting system hidden in the handrail to lit the steps and by a back light effect of its silhouette on the foyer wall.
(Please note: the long white arms, visible on some pictures are not lighting but heating devices: the lighting designer did not conceive them)