A French connection
Part of the work recently completed to mark the 20th anniversary of the original renovation of the Grande Galerie de Evolution building in Paris involved the installation of five gigantic Airstar printed lighting balloons and a further six balloons hanging from the ceiling above the large historical stairs inside.
These balloons now welcome visitors to this unique venue with its majestic 1,000 square metre glass roof under which over 7,000 different species are housed.
With different shapes and heights, the balloonsappear to be floating in the air. Apart from the obvious aesthetic consideration, they proved the perfect answer to the various challenges posed, including lighting, space utilisation and signage. Significantly, the balloons meet all of the exacting specifications that forbid alteration to the existing architectural structure by being linked to the ceiling aperture with two cables, the first of which powers the balloon ventilation while the other controls the lighting.
The project managers involved were looking for an innovative solution to fully exploit the volumes of space in the entrance hall, while the graphic designers were looking for sharp and bright lighting. In consequence, the balloons are fitted with low-consumption, compact fluorescent light bulbs managed by a time switch. The result was uniform ambient lighting that attracts attention from outside of the building, thanks to an efficient and diffused light.
According to a representative of the architects responsible for the work, the purpose of the lighting balloons was to refresh the signage in the entrance hall, while respecting the historical dimension of the building.