Pharos brings the Sways building to life through light

Located in Issy-les-Moulineaux, a southwestern suburb of Paris, the Sways – a building which is now home to French TV group Canal+ – recently underwent an entire refurbishment. Completed in November 2021, the renovation project included a two-storey extension to transform the original building, which dates from the 1990s, into a state-of-the-art 41,000m² commercial office development fit for the modern day.

Working in collaboration with French artist Yann Kersalé, BOA Light Studio was selected to bring the building to life through light. As part of the ‘One Building, One Work of Art’ initiative set up in 2015 by the Ministry of Culture to bring colour and creativity into the public sphere, lighting of the exterior façade was a central feature of the overall renovation.

From the initial design brief, Yann Kersalé’s intention was to create a building which showcases light throughout the seasons, ensuring the Sways complements its surroundings all year round while enriching the city’s architectural landscape. To achieve this, Yann Kersalé and BOA Light Studio collaborated with renowned lighting management specialist Lumières Utiles – a company with an enviable reputation in France that maintains more than 120 sites – to create an effective lighting control system for the Sways that enables changes to be conducted remotely at different times of the day. A fundamental element of the Lumières Utiles control system is the OLYMPE cloud, specifically designed to work with Pharos Architectural Controls products in delivering a unified remote management solution.

The Pharos VLC 100 (Video Lighting Controller 100) was chosen for the building’s façade. In addition to this, eleven Pharos Ethernet Data Nodes (EDN) were specified to provide cost-effective Ethernet-distributed DMX ports around the building, and a Pharos TPS (Touch Panel Station) was used as the solution’s user interface. Arkaos software is incorporated into the broader control system to deliver two different streams of video content.

Further completing the system is a Pharos LPC (Lighting Playback Controller) which receives triggers from a host webpage to drive different timelines for both the VLC and the Arkaos application. The VLC controls the 100 universes of LED pixelmapped main lines of the building façade, while Arkaos simultaneously delivers the two different streams for both screens at the top of the building.

The VLC 100 is an extremely capable and cost-effective architectural lighting control solution commonly used for large LED pixel arrays such as building façades, bridges, and presentation walls, making it the perfect solution to light up the exterior façade of the Sways.

Mr Philippe Trehou, Technical Director at Bouygues Immobilier commented: “We are delighted with this redevelopment, which showcases high quality design and impressive environmental credentials. The futureproofed office building will cater to the needs of its tenants for years to come, and demonstrates a firm commitment to reimagining the future of this wonderful city.”

Mark de Gruyter, Regional Manager – EMEA at Pharos Architectural Controls added: “It has been a real honour to work with the project team to ensure the Sways achieves its full potential and stands out as an exceptional landmark development. We are proud to know that Pharos has contributed to this transformative redevelopment.”  

Following completion, the Sways now stands proudly in the heart of Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris, and is the perfect home for premium French TV group Canal+. The building provides something for everyone, with the ground floor offering a significant range of services including meeting spaces, an auditorium and shops – all available to local residents, visitors and employees alike.

Project credits: 

Lighting Design: Yann Kersalé and BOA light Studio.

Installer: EPLS.

Lighting manufacturer: FlexLedLight.

Network and programming: Lumières Utiles.

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