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Splendour

Galeries Royales,

Brussels, Belgium


Discover how LED lighting is bringing new customers to a historic shopping center.
Philips lighting in the Galeries Royales

The coordination of

the lighting

with the performance was like a little dance.''

 

- Marc Largent, Managing Director, Magic Monkey

Philips lighting in the Galeries Royales
Philips lighting in the Galeries Royales

Customer challenge

 

One of the wonders of Belgium’s capital is The Galeries Royales, a historic precursor to the modern shopping mall. When the time came to re-light the space, it was vital to preserve its old-fashioned charm. Could modern lighting capture the warm glow of the original gas lamps and keep customers coming back?

Philips lighting in the Galeries Royales

The right lighting 

 

The Galeries Royales are a beloved landmark in the city of Brussels, and an important milestone in the history of shopping. Designed by architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer, they contain two main sections measuring more than 100m long, which were originally lit by gas lamps.

 

Walking through the elegant site, it’s easy to see how such a beautiful place could have attracted the bourgeoisie in years gone by. So when lighting design company Magic Monkey won a competition to revitalize the space, it was crucial to preserve the site’s historic charm. 

‘It must have been beautiful,’ said managing director Marc Largent, ‘being lit by gas flames in light spheres that are still there today. We wanted to recreate that warm glow while having the tools to change and control it, to create something exciting and dynamic, and to create all kinds of scenarios.’

 

Magic Monkey chose the Philips IntelliHue LED lighting systems because they offer a range of colors and white hues. ‘It could do a very finely tuned white,’ Largent said. ‘This was essential because the façade has a special plinth that has to be lit. It’s a beige-pink flushed color, and we wanted to create the warm glow of a gas flame.’ 

 

The daily lighting uses this warm white glow, and there is a weekly light show with optical effects, music and dramatic color-changes. These changes are controlled by a Pharos LPC X, which has extreme power and integration, suiting it to landmark lighting installations with significant channel counts.

 

‘What we like,’ said Largent, ‘is the possibility of having variability of control and color in the same fittings. We can control what happens every 30cm, and that allows us to create crazy optical effects.’ Maintenance is also easy, as the long lifespan of the LED fittings will keep the glow going for years to come.

 

The project has fulfilled its commercial aim of revitalizing the Galeries. ‘The shop owners and restaurant owners say that it has increased the number of visitors,’ Largent said. 

 

This surge in custom may be due to the warm welcome visitors are given. Upon entering, they’re greeted by a light show synchronized with Liszt’s 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody, which was composed in 1847 - the same year the Galeries opened. Tradition and history has been preserved perfectly, and it’s all thanks to modern lighting.

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