Multisensory Railway Museum

Design: Lightemotion

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Train World, the new Belgian railway museum, opened on September 25 after ten years of work and an investment of 25 million euros. Lightemotion, creative office in Montreal, is pleased to have participated in the lighting of this new past, present and future railway showcase, which exhibits the most beautiful original pieces of the country’s history collection.

Scenography, designed by the Belgian comic artist François Schuiten, plunges us into a true multisensory and theatrical universe. The staging of spaces and objects had to be supported by an exclusive lighting layout. Mr. Schuiten immediately requested the services of the Lightemotion team, who has worked on more than twenty international projects.

The first act of this “opera of the train” starts in Schaerbeek Station, Belgian railway architectural jewel and one of the oldest stations in the country, located in the heart of Europe, constructed on the first rail track of the continent linking Brussels and Mechelen. It is now connected to a new industrial hangar via the railway garden.

This 86,000 sq.ft. hangar contains 4 exhibition halls where you can admire several locomotives, including the Pays de Waes, the oldest preserved steam locomotive in Europe, as well as a thousand of objects related to the railway world, drawings and models. Diversity and difference in scale of the exhibits brought the creators of Lightemotion to use lighting systems, architectural technology and unusual applications.

“We had to think outside the box. We used, for example, lighting systems designed for outdoor use to obtain the power and durability required for locomotives highlighting” explains Roupinian, President, Design Director at Lightemotion. The project required more than 2,000 LED lamps and metal halide, known as “Metalarc” widely used in movie projectors and theater. Every detail is carefully embraced by the light through a thorough study of exposed volumes. Each light source was custom tailored to the scenography needs and context. Simulations using 3D software has achieved an unprecedented level of precision for highlighting the project.

The lighting is at times dramatic, at times vibrant, at times animated. Each exhibition hall is unique and presents a variety of environments to be experienced by its visitors. The space, object, light, image and sound combine to create a multisensory experience to carry us into the Belgian railway world, the oldest network of the European continent.

About Lightemotion
Montreal native, founder of Lightemotion, Roupinian, has assembled a multidisciplinary and multicultural team that can intervene in five different languages to manage projects worldwide. Having been specialized in the arts and multimedia, Lightemotion expanded its expertise in architecture and museum lighting.

Thanks to its technical and creative know-how, Lightemotion has managed to become a key player in architectural lighting worldwide. The originality and the performance of its lighting concepts in Canada, Europe, the US, Asia, Middle East, New Zealand and Australia have earned Lightemotion an international reputation.

The company’s field of operations extends from cultural architectural highlighting projects (the Strasbourg Museum, the National Museum of Singapore, the Automobile Museum of Turin, the Canada Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo of 2010 …), to hospitality and retail projects (The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, 45 of the Birks jewelers in North America, the lobby and Mall of Complexe Desjardins in Montreal, Star City Theater and Resort in Sydney, the hotel and the residences of the Ritz Carlton in Montreal). It also intervenes to make architectural lighting Master Plans, like that of the Places des Arts in Montreal.

Lightemotion has recently completed the lighting of the Natural History Museum of Singapore, as well as Brussels’ Train Museum. In Toronto, the company created the lighting of the Great Gulf Idea Centre and The Globe and Mail’s new headquarters, as well as the renovation of Union Station which is currently underway. In Dubai, they have completed the second phase of the interior lighting of the Burj Khalifa tower. In Ottawa, we can note the Parliament Hill Lighting Master Plan created in 2014 and close by the Lac Leamy Casino. In the Quebec Province, Lightemotion is currently working on the great Queen Elizabeth Fairmont Revitalization project in Montreal and the Place Laurier shopping mall in Quebec City.

Photography: Marie-Francoise Plissart