E\T\C Paris has specified and installed a live interactive projection system featuring a combination of their OnlyView control system and Christie video projectors for video artwork at the newly re-opened Château des Duc de Bretagne museum/attraction in Nantes.

The renowned Château des Duc de Bretagne castle has just re-opened after 15 years of renovation work and three years of complete closure. It features an innovative new video artwork covering the entire southern frontage of the building, created by Sylvie Sieg and Pierre Nègre from Grenoble based agency, Atelier Lumière, specialists in urban illumination.

It was the first time Atelier Lumière has used video projection. They approached / E\T\C Paris—initially in 2004—to work alongside them on the collaboration because of the company’s reputation and experience in the specialist field of monumental and building projections. E\T\C Paris’ director of Muséography & Multimedia, Guy Garcia project managed the installation.

Garcia says, “This was a very special project which we are really proud to be involved in. It was excellent working with Atelier Lumière, and together we met the many challenges and learned a lot in the process.”

The video installation covers the southern frontage of the magnificent building and utilizes seven Christie S+16 projectors each covering a 25m wide by 15m high zone, stretching a total of nearly 200m across the facia of the château. E\T\C Paris conducted initial site tests and then calibrated the results so the content could be worked on in the studio.

A series of laser triggers are set up on the site, so as people and objects—including the local train, representing a strong modern image of the city—pass in front, different four-second video clips are randomly activated via the OnlyView system, and played out through the projectors. This creates a living, “breathing” real time interactive work that’s projected as a series of giant images onto the front of the building via different video clips.

The video content is abstract and atmospheric, taking on the subtle form and feel of various matters and ambient texturing of the building. It was produced by Parisian production house BCBG. There are over 30 video clips stored on and programmed into seven 6-layer OnlyView servers by Christophe Deplante from E\T\C Paris. In all, this took about a year to conceive, test, edit, and finalize.

Each image and animation is 1400 x 1050 pixels. All the necessary perspective correction and edge blending between the projectors to create one single large image is done in OnlyView.

OnlyView is then triggered by the overall Medialon show control system which receives signals as the laser points are interrupted, and remotely manages all the projectors and all the architectural luminaires involved in the installation.

The projectors are each located in specially air-conditioned hides, 12m away from the wall. The hides also house traditional architectural lighting fixtures used for illuminating the front of the building. Christie S16+s were chosen for their high output and durability—as the work is scheduled to run for seven years—it was imperative to have machines that were robust and well built.

E\T\C Paris again harnessed its massive knowledge in the area of special events, live shows, and son et lumière programs to make this project happen. Guy Garcia says, “The most difficult aspects of this project were installing an exterior, fixed, high-powered video projection that is to last for 7 years. There were many criteria to fulfil, but we have risen to all the challenges.”

The show will run for the next seven years, daily from 6.30pm till midnight during the winter months and from 10pm till 1am during the summer. It was essential that all the costings, calculations and technical specs also took into account the length and sustainability of the project.