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Citeco museum Paris

The Citéco museum of economy in Paris is an enthralling experience for visitors. Innovative lighting brings the captivating story of economy and money to life, making it more attractive and engaging. Through a masterful fusion of scenography and cutting-edge lighting solutions, we've illuminated the museum's enchanting architecture and exhibits, creating a spellbinding journey through the world of economics.

Citéco Museum – City of economy and currency

  • Location: Hotel Gaillard, Paris, France
  • Delivery date 2022
  • Client Banque de France
  • Scenography: Alphabeth and Explosition
  • Light Design: Michel Helson (RealisationsEurope)
  • Surface area 2400 m2

A Captivating Fusion of Scenography and Lighting

Housed in a marvelous historic building in Paris, Citéco is a museum dedicated to the economy. But even if the neo-Renaissance urban château is enchanting in itself, it took more to keep visitors spellbound by the story of the economy and money.

In Citéco, this challenge was met head-on through a brilliant combination of clever scenography and innovative lighting techniques. Vivalyte was very happy to help tackle this adventure as a technical partner for lighting, powering and controlling this technical masterpiece.

By carefully crafting two distinct routes, each with its own timetable, the museum successfully engaged visitors while also highlighting the architectural heritage of the building. Let’s explore how this exceptional project transformed an educational journey into an unforgettable experience.

Citéco Paris - museum lighting by Vivalyte with Dynamic lightboxes, luminaires, led, interactive light, immersive experience

The Grand Entrance: An Impressive Light and Sound Show

The visitor’s journey commences with a grand light and sound show, setting the stage for an extraordinary museum experience. Through large video projections of animated images, contemporary economic and financial issues are seamlessly integrated, respecting the original beauty of the architecture. This immersive introduction piques visitors’ curiosity while creating a bridge between the past and present.

Citéco Paris - museum lighting by Vivalyte with Dynamic lightboxes, luminaires, led, interactive light, immersive experience

A Delicate Dance of Dynamic Light

As the show concludes, the tour guides visitors through a meticulously designed mapping of the architecture. Starting with a progressive and dynamic tunable white light description in the reception hall, the lighting design resembles pencil strokes on a sketch, gracefully tracing the intricate details of the building’s structure.

4° ellipsoidal fixtures, meticulously developed to illuminate an area 10 meters high and 60 centimeters wide, provide the perfect medium for capturing the essence of the pencil strokes, breathing life into the architectural elements.

Modern Lighting and Heritage

Moving through the museum, visitors are met with a modern integrated scenography that seamlessly blends with the historical cultural aesthetic of the site. Using profiles and focusable optical zooms, the lighting design accentuates the architectural elements, furniture, accessories, and punctual points of interest. With varying ceiling heights ranging from 4 to 10 meters, careful attention is given to creating harmonious atmospheres that define the space’s volume and enhance the overall visual impact.

Citéco Paris - museum lighting by Vivalyte with Dynamic lightboxes, luminaires, led, interactive light, immersive experience
Citéco Paris - museum lighting by Vivalyte with Dynamic lightboxes, luminaires, led, interactive light, immersive experience

Unveiling the Past through Luminous Panels

Dimmed luminous panels emerge as a powerful tool for creating unconventional renditions of graphics. In the museum’s showcases, these lumigraphics serve as backlit displays, bringing dusty portraits to life and creating a captivating ambiance. Whether as backdrops or supporting “cartel and didascalies” these panels enhance the visibility of the displays, evoking a sense of intrigue and wonder.

Preserving Architectural Elements

Highlighting the classified architectural elements of the museum required meticulous attention to detail. Fine wood and metallic trim, wood paneling, parquet and ceiling designs, opulent sculptures, and intricate stonework carvings were meticulously treated with various types of LEDs, profiles, and focusable optical zooms. This approach ensured the architectural heritage was not only preserved but showcased with stunning precision and elegance.

Citéco Paris - museum lighting by Vivalyte with Dynamic lightboxes, luminaires, led, interactive light, immersive experience
Citéco Paris - museum lighting by Vivalyte with Dynamic lightboxes, luminaires, led, interactive light, immersive experience

A Sensational Finale: The Enigmatic Safe Room

As the tour nears its end, visitors are led to the museum’s unique safe room, an architectural marvel reminiscent of a castle-fortress. The dynamic lighting sequence in the surrounding moat, created by a submarine RGBW projector, entices visitors to explore the treasure cellar within. The vault’s safe cases have been ingeniously transformed into showcases, meticulously illuminated to highlight historical money stones, gold, bronze, silver, and some of the world’s most beautiful banknotes.

A technical lighting masterpiece

All technical aspects were meticulously designed, featuring high-output LEDs with precise specifications for colour temperature, CRI, lumen/watt output, and more. With more than 1,200 controlled light points, the exhibit really comes to life. For this technological tour de force, Vivalyte’s technical expertise and knowledge were highly valued. In the dynamic sequences, the luminaires are DMX-controlled. The signal is conveyed in ArtNet and converted to DMX at the luminaire. The dynamic sequences are either synchronised by the show controller with moving images and sounds or are broadcast in a stand-alone loop. In the ticketing and entrance halls, all luminaires are Casambi controlled.

On working with Vivalyte

The success of a major project is often based on good cooperation between partners. Developer of audiovisual and multimedia scenarios Michel Helson (RealisationsEurope) fondly remembers this collaboration:

We got to know Vivalyte on project of Museum of Chaplin’s World Museum in Switzerland as a successful supplier of lighting equipments. Their can-do attitude gave us all peace of mind and ensured that the scheduled things also got done on time. I was really impressed with team especially as the CEO/Founder of Vivalyte, he always came on site personally to roll up his sleeves and brainstorm along with me. I haven’t seen this level of participation often in the industry. With the deep technical knowledge, Vivalyte also regularly came up with suggestions for better solutions to the challenges we faced. They could have just done the work they had agreed to, but instead they went so much further. Vivalyte team was always available and always willing to pull out all the stops to find an ideal solution to my creative wishes and dreams.

What has stuck with me is the speed with which Vivalyte got things done. When we had to make letters with neon flex lighting according to a briefing with a very tight deadline, there was no stock to be found anywhere. Thanks to the excellent network and deep connections at supply chain side of the industry, Vivalyte managed to get the right LEDs so they could be installed in time. What everyone had thought to be impossible had succeeded!

This good relationship with manufactures and eco-system partners also ensures that Vivalyte always has the latest products and also develops its own components where necessary. For the Banque de France museum, Vivalyte devised an ultra-fast connection and then had it produced. Its plug-and-play capability was unseen at the time and meant a world of difference to the project. Since then it has become a standard in the industry.

Similarly, when I had a capsule lighting fixture in mind, Vivalyte immediately jumped on board. Together with a design company Vivalyte was already working with, it quickly developed the solution I had in mind. There were many other special developments like that. Remaking over 40 impossible-to-find ceiling lights from the 1950s with modern materials and with integrated RGBW LEDs controlled via DALI, or an innovative solution for the required daylights of 60 m2.

During such a large project, we often had to work against the clock with a limited budget and a lot of stress. It was therefore a blessing to have a partner such as Vivalyte who put their full effort into the project. From idea to research and development to testing and installation: if Vivalyte said it would be okay, we could sleep at night. Not surprisingly, we still collaborate on creative projects worldwide.

Citéco Project Partners

  • Scenography : Alphabeth and Explosition
  • Mandatory architect : Atelier Lion
  • Heritage architect: ACMH: Agence Pallot
  • Graphism : Crocodile and Paula Mutel
  • Audiovisual integration : Etc-Onlyview
  • Audiovisual lighting integration : Inytium
  • Backlit lightboxes, autoluminous panels, and all leds strips and profiles design, engineering, and illumination furniture: Vivalyte
  • Showcases lighting : Luxam
  • Audiovisual production : Sip-Conseil, Museomaniac, Opixido, Fleur de papier, Orpheo, Les Films d’ici , Gand angle production, Anamnesia, Canine production
  • Sound Design: Life
  • Set Builder: Matière à penser, Goppion, Prelud
  • Manipe : Diversit
  • Acoustic: Impédance
  • Economist : BET – OPC Ygrec ingénierie


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