Barco-powered Bassins de Lumières attracts 400,000 visitors in four months

Projection mapping in Bassins de Lumières, Bordeaux, France, created by Culturespaces

Barco, the technology company focusing on innovative visualization solutions, is celebrating the success of Bassins de Lumières, now open in Bordeaux, France.

The company is pleased to announce that the world’s largest, Barco-powered digital art centre has welcomed 400,000 visitors in the first four months of opening. Over 100 Barco projectors are in use at the visual art installation, Bassins de Lumières, by Culturespaces.

“Bassins de Lumières offers a totally unique, sensory experience, including projected video, light and sound. The mix of the location, the recreated artwork from Klimt and Klee, and the superb image quality of Barco projectors make this exposition an unequalled experience,” says Augustin de Cointet de Fillain, Director of Culturespaces Digital & Bassins de Lumières.

Bassins de Lumières

Bassins de Lumières is a former World War II submarine base which opened to the public in Bordeaux on 10 June 2020 with an initial exhibition on the works of Gustav Klimt and Paul Klee. Here, the artwork has been recreated by digital artists and then brought to life by over 100 Barco projectors for an immersive artainment experience.

The art is projected in moving images onto the monumental architecture of the submarine base and reflected in the water of four enormous basins. Guests can immersive themselves in the artwork, by wandering along the gangways and quays.

Barco has provided 74 x F80-Q12 projectors, 24 x G60-W10 projectors and 3 x UDX-W32 projectors for the attraction. The benefits of this technology include excellent image quality and true colours, alongside stable and reliable operation. Operators also benefit from remote system monitoring and fast support from Barco.

Culturespaces and Barco

Barco and Culturespaces have worked on many projects together over the years, but this is one of the largest. The submarine base has almost 14,000 square metres of available projection surface.  To achieve its goals, Culturespaces opted for Barco’s F80-Q12, G60-W10 and UDX-W32 laser projectors.

“We already knew the quality of Barco projectors from our previous projects: they are stable, reliable and offer great images from edge to centre. And most importantly, Barco projectors enable us to truthfully present the colours how the original artist meant them to be.”

The WQXGA resolution of the F80-Q12 allowed Culturespaces to present more pixels, meaning it was able to display amazing colours and detail, even from long viewing distances. The UDX-W32 was chosen for the centre’s largest walls while the G60-W10 is ideal for images projected at shorter viewing distances.

Remote image quality monitoring

The exhibition runs for 12 hours a day, for several months at a time. This means that stable image quality is essential. The quality of Barco’s 100 projector units can be monitored remotely, 24/7 basis. Whenever an issue arises, the Culturespaces technical team is immediately notified.

The support of the Barco maintenance team has been invaluable, says de Cointet de Fillain: “Barco has always been very responsive to our questions. Bassins de Lumières is a complex project, with over 100 projectors, and we cannot afford to have issues during the exposition. But the quality of the projectors and the readiness of the Barco team have made this exposition a success.”

“The enormity of the Bassins de Lumières project was definitely challenging, as was the humidity of the submarine environment, but Barco always helped us to find solutions. As a creative organization, we also value that Barco takes our feedback into account when it comes to thinking about their future product roadmap.”

“Although technology needs to be reliable, this exposition is not about technology in and of itself. With the quality of the Barco projectors in mind, we needn’t worry about technology, which has enabled our visual artists to fully focus on the creative side of things.”

Barco published a new white paper earlier this month, which includes professional insights into how to choose the correct projector for 3D mapping projects.