Light is at the heart of the celebrations in mid winter. Ever keen to reinvent Winter Wonders and to boost its appeal after 10 successful years, the City of Brussels wants to bolster the event with top quality artistic fare. Beyond the traditional Christmas lights, Winter Wonders has called on light sculptures to dare new forms. Some 5 artistic installations from the Market Square to the big wheel will illuminate your way as real “dreams of light.”
Every year, the Market Square is turned into the stage for the great sound and light show of Winter Winters: Electrabel Nights. This 2012 edition is bound to be exceptional in more ways than one, thanks to the combination of two shows in one. For the first time for Winter Wonders, the brand new permanent light installations of the facades of the Town Hall and the King’s House will come back to life in interaction with a Christmas tree not like the others: the XmasTree! A 360° show, and a unique symbiosis between UNESCO architectural heritage lighting and a contemporary electronic Christmas tree.
XMAS TREE (Abies Electronicus)
The XmasTree is a monumental electronic tree 25 metres high in steel covered with wood and a projection screen fabric – all decked with flash garlands, LEDs and video mapping. The 2012 edition of Electrabel Nights will therefore feature an audacious, ecological and innovative tree 2.0 to dust off Christmas. The aim of the concept is to be projected in new technologies whilst retaining the magic of the holidays. The Christmas tree becomes a sound and light show. Between projections on screens, flashes, colours and glitter, visitors are invited to take a fresh look at the symbol of the end-of-year holidays. The show is extended during the day when the tree is turned into a belvedere. The tree trunk is composed of a stairway which leads the visitor to an unprecedented panoramic view (19 metres high) of the Market Square and the centre of Brussels. The XmasTree is a revolutionary variation on the traditional Christmas tree, designed by the creative label 1024 Architecture.
PERMANENT LIGHTING OF THE MARKET SQUARE
At the initiative of the City of Brussels and in cooperation with Beliris, the Market Square recently acquired a fine new, permanent sound and light system that will be unveiled to visitors at an event for the occasion. This titanic project to showcase our UNESCO architectural heritage, with no fewer than 1600 LED rails, will be completed in June 2013. In the meantime, the famous light sculptor Patrick Rimoux will get the facades of the Town Hall and the King’s House to engage in dialogue with the XmasTree through an enchanting light show.
>Panoramic view from the Christmas tree
Dates: 30 November > 27 December (daily)
Admission: €4 adults / children - 10 years for free (min. 3 years); 15 people maximum.
Opening hours: 11:00 AM > 4:00 PM (duration of the visit: 15 minutes maximum)
All the profits will be donated to SAMU social
>Sound and light show
Dates: 30 November > 27 December (daily)
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 6:00 > 10:00 PM (every 30 minutes)
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 6:00 > 11:00 PM (every 30 minutes).
With the support of Electrabel. The XmasTree project is a concept of 1024 Architecture. The artistic lighting of the Town Hall and the King’s House was designed by Patrick Rimoux and Radiance 35. A Beliris project with the valuable cooperation of Radiance 35, Schreder, Just Light and Fabricom.
NID’LUM – Place du Vieux Marché aux Grains
In partnership with the City of Geneva in Switzerland and its magnificent “Trees and Lights” festival, the City of Brussels has acquired “Nid’Lum,” a light work by the French artist Erik Barray. Some sixty light nests are perched on the plane trees at the Place du Vieux Marché aux Grains, between the Place Sainte-Catherine and the Rue Dansaert. The Erik Barray Studio (Erik Barray, Richard Le Guezennec, Manu Théry) has created a dreamlike universe that illuminates this friendly square cherished by Brussels denizens.
“I am going to build nests close to you, for migration time, to bring light in the heart of winter. A tree-lined lane, a promenade, a place to live, where children play and people walk and rest. Nid’lum, light, suspended from the branches, swaying to the wind. Woven in wicker, they attract the eye with light and accompany the stroller into dreams.” Erik Barray
BAMBOO CLOUD – Place Sainte-Catherine
A monumental structure in bamboo invades the Place Sainte-Catherine. The Belgian artist Georges Cuvillier (Bamboost) sculpts a tangle of bamboo poles covering more than 400 m². A giant Mikado, the structure forms a roof suspended above the Christmas market chalets, with which it shares the light wood colour. A natural, smooth and unbreakable material, the bamboo rises majestically towards the peak of the trees in a joyous orchestration. This levitated bamboo cloud lightens up the sky of the Place Sainte-Catherine. Lighted enchantingly, the structure turns into a real organic light installation at night that creates a warm and friendly atmosphere on this magnificent square in the city centre.
SAINT NICOLIGHT – VideoMapping of the Church of Saint-Nicolas
The façade of the Church of Saint-Nicolas is teeming with stories and imagination. Drawing on architecture, myths, childhood, the history and popular culture inspired by Saint Nicolas, artists ( Starloops) offer a new, graphical approach to these stakes using the video mapping technique. An original, customised imaging that pays homage this renovated gem of Brussels architecture thanks to its spectacular visual effects.
SCINTILLATING RHYTMS – Lighting up Dansaert
The Brussels designer Benoit Deneufbourg has taken up an unprecedented challenge: creative Christmas lighting in line with the Dansaert identity: the avant-garde quarter of Brussels for fashion and design. The artist proposes what is concurrently a noble and dynamic dressing, by creating a weft based on the intervals between lamps along the Rue Orts and the Rue Antoine Dansaert. To that end, ribbons will be stretched above the streets to create an openwork ceiling on the Rue Dansaert, punctuated by lighting that underlines the weft. This diagonal passage weaves a network of ribbons that zigzag along the Rue Dansaert, from the Stock Exchange until the Canal. The sequencing in the form of a score composes “scintillating rhythms” that will rock the creative centre of Brussels during the holidays. With this visual, illuminated appeal, Winter Wonders is gaining a second artery that links the Stock Exchange and big wheel via the Rue Dansaert – providing transit comfort and an alternative route for visitors of Winter Wonders who are keen on fashion and design.
A project sustained by the Dansaert Quarter Association and MAD (fashion and design centre).
BEAMS – Rue Devaux
The “Beams” installation with its 6000 metres of fluorescent elastic cables will embellish Rue Devaux. Its designer, Olivier Berghmans (from “L’Agence”), assisted by Antoine Vroman, has opted to “evoke Christmas decorations,” leaving free reign to the imagination of passers-by: nose in the air, they discover another dimension of this busy artery during Winter Wonders.
(The project won an artistic competition under the aegis of the Municipal Department of Culture).