Chef-Boutonne is one of four “Petites Cités de Caractère” in the Deux-Sèvres department in western France. This label is awarded to towns and villages (fewer than 6,000 inhabitants) with exceptional heritage and architecture. Indeed, the village is steeped in history, with remains dating back to the Merovingian and Gallo-Roman periods.
Urban lighting for a unique and immersive visitor experience
In 2018, the local authorities launched a plan to upgrade the public lighting to give residents and visitors a unique experience in each village and increase its tourist appeal. They had a very specific design in mind as they wanted a lighting solution that would project images onto public spaces and facades.
They asked Concepto, a lighting design agency and its founder, Roger Narboni to help manage the lighting project. They developed the lighting signature for the whole project.
To meet the requirements, "it had to be coherent and harmonious," explains Roger Narboni. Their idea was "to create an immersive experience using gobo projections on the theme of nature and heritage, as well as the installation of original lanterns".
There was also a consultation with each community to ensure that their wishes were met and to define the spaces to be highlighted. Once the recommendations had been made, the local authorities took charge of managing the project and choosing the teams to work on the various projects. The Concepto agency was responsible for ensuring that its recommendations were properly implemented and respected.
Bespoke lighting for the heart of community life
After this initial phase, Lionel Bessières, founder of the Quartiers Lumières lighting design agency, was chosen to light Place Cail, a square at the heart of community life in Chef-Boutonne. This square regularly attracts people for different events, including its 18th century traders market. The new urban lighting had to meet these criteria:
- provide a warm white light (2,700K);
- comply with the French light pollution law of 27th December 2018;
- ensure high visual comfort;
- limit light trespass.
Lionel Bessières wanted to create "a distinctive daytime and night-time atmosphere for this project". To achieve this, he selected the ALUCA luminaire, which he designed himself for the town of Cazères in the Haute-Garonne region. This bespoke LED luminaire was created in collaboration with Schréder SIGNATURE and met Roger Narboni's specifications.
ALUCA lanterns with laser-cut motifs combine tradition and innovation, creating a timeless symbiosis between craftsmanship and modern technology, and a close link between design, materials and lighting.
ALUCA, a bespoke mask with many possibilities
This urban lighting solution has been designed to be a stylish, modern and adaptable piece of street furniture. Thanks to its cylindrical shape, it can be fitted with a variety of different masks. Inspired by the river that springs up in the heart of the village and which gives it its name, Lionel Bessières designed a mask that reflects its identity.
"Several designs were carried out and tested before the final choice was made", explains the lighting designer. This luminaire provides both functional and atmospheric lighting (which can be switched off).
The ALUCA luminaire enhances the streets of Chef-Boutonne and creates a more vibrant nightscape on Place Cail. The installation provides "a warm light that adapts to the nightlife of the place in the early evening and fades away at night", adds Lionel Bessières.
Bespoke urban lighting that saves energy
The bespoke ALUCA luminaire can be suspended from a bracket or mounted on a pole. A total of 15 street lights have been installed, reducing the village’s energy consumption for public lighting.
“In fact, this luminaire provides much more virtuous lighting, which is more respectful of the environment, especially flora and fauna” explains Roger Narboni.
Thanks to the redevelopment of Place Cail and the ALUCA luminaires, visitors will discover a whole new side of the village. More than ever, this space will become a stage for sharing special moments and fostering a sense of community.