Located about 60km south of Brussels, Mons is home to the "Les Grands Prés" commercial center. The outskirts of Mons, which is lively, well organized, and luminous, is becoming one of the most interesting entertainment "piazzas" in the whole of Europe. Therefore, "Les Grands Prés" was the ideal locale for the lighting technology project provided by Clay Paky. For the last few months, the façade of the building has been lit with colors and graphic effects creating an appealing scenic element.

Unlike other commercial architectural lighting projects, "Mons–Les Grand Prés" used effects projectors with the ability not only to diffuse the color, but also to project pictures and writing, or to draw precise and imaginative shapes with light. Currently, these types of projections are only available using the Clay Paky Rain Spot 575. The "Mons–Les Grand Prés" project was developed in sync with the introduction of Clay Paky’s Rain Spot 575. The Rain Spot has advanced optics, with four interchangeable lenses with 18° to 46° beam angles, electronic focusing, and an effects section consisting of four fixed gobos, four indexable rotating gobos, four rotating prisms, dimmer and immediate beam stop.

"Our client wanted impact lighting that would also characterize the outside of the building, turning it into an immediately recognizable reference point," says Koert Vermeulen, lighting& production designer of ACT Design, who took part in valorizing the whole commercial area, mainly concentrating on the light design of "Les Grands Prés. "What made this project very stimulating is the context in which it is located. Les Grands Prés is sited just outside the city center, in a new area developed specifically for leisure and entertainment activities, very near to a multi-hall cinema and with many other projects in course of implementation."

When the project was first in development, Vermeulen and his team realized that there was no IP65 graphic effects projector available for the effects envisioned by their client. "The alternative would have been to make do with a washlight or to use IP20 effects projectors that, however, would have to be covered with inconvenient and ugly transparent protections to protect them against the weather," explains Vermeulen.

Luckily, Clay Paky introduced the Rain Spot 575 and resolved the design issues, eliminating the necessity of the rain shields. In its final form the production involves 38 Rain Spot 575s installed along the main façade of the structure (430mx10m). "In particular, we have appreciated the decorative glass gobos and use them very often," says Vermeulen. "When they are combined with color variations, they create a highly suggestive frosted effect."

The commercial operation was managed by Didier Courbe from DCD Lighting S.A. of Nivelles, with the contribution of Christian Stenuit for the design and implementation phase.

The inside of the structure is also saturated with lights. Projectors with different color temperatures have been used to create contrast atmospheres in the spaces, concentrating, in particular, on the access to the commercial center and the refreshment areas. Inside there are 134 CP Color 150 color changers in total from Clay Paky, as well as over 1300 conventional light points.