Sitting atop a hill, its 65-meter tower piercing the sky, Sint Martinus church is a familiar landmark that charms locals with its elegant architecture and the reassuring sounds of its 52-bell clarion. Recently, the Neo-Gothic church attracted admiring attention for another feature: the dynamic and richly textured lighting design that moved across its façade as part of the Vurige Vijvers festival.
Jan Siegers and his team at Rentek created this panorama as part of the annual festival, during which various sites along a 1.5 kilometer guided walk in Genk are adorned with displays of light. Aiding them in this undertaking was a collection of CHAUVET Professional IP65 rated fixtures that included eight Maverick Storm 1 Washes and an equal number of Maverick Storm 1 Spot units.
The artful design concept developed by Rentek sought to highlight the unique architectural elements of the building whilst simultaneously incorporating a time-coded cornucopia of moving gobo textures and effects to transform the facade into a unique and abstract tapestry of light.
Positioned in front of the church, the Maverick Storm Wash fixtures ensured that the architectural pillars at the buildings entrance could be highlighted with deep and saturated color, thus awarding a certain depth to the already impressive structure. The remainder of the facade, including the majestic tower, was accentuated with the powerful throw of the Maverick Storm Spots, with the addition of abstract gobo effects to draw attention to the structure from miles around.
Running close to 20 minutes, the timecoded show offered a kinetic performance utilizing a plethora of vibrant, ever evolving colour combinations. Enhancing the impact of the program, the fixture’s animation wheel enabled numerous layered visual effects, such as fire and waterfall gobos, much to the delight of the spectators.
“Projecting abstract figures onto such a historic building was a lot of fun, especially because it is something of a Genk landmark which could be seen from around the city” commented Siegers. “The church also has some of the most beautiful coloured glass windows, which, as we demonstrated with our selection of CHAUVET Professional luminaries, really came to life with very simple yet effective changes in color.”
After an initial location visit, Siegers and his team were able to find the ideal position for the fixtures on site. Thanks to the excellent focus and 7.1° to 51° zoom range of the Storm Spot fixtures, they were able to fine tune and make small adjustments on site to ensure that the entire facade was accurately projected with light.
“I love the zoom range of the Spot,” said Siegers. “In combination with the powerful light source, it made it possible to project large textures onto the surface area of the church, while also creating accurate, pin sharp searchlight beams to illuminate the immediate vicinity of the sky surrounding the building. ”
The compact footprint of the fixtures allowed the team to construct and deconstruct the installation quickly on the bustling market square in front of the church on a daily basis. While doing this, they didn’t have to worry much about the weather, given the fixtures’ IP65 rating.
“As we learned from previous experience, having a waterproof luminaire at an outdoor event like this is an absolute must,” said Siegers. “However, we really wanted to avoid ugly domes or crazy constructions, because that would hinder the view of the building.”
Siegers and his team were determined to avoid such distractions, he says, because of the high aesthetic standards they set for this project. As anyone who saw their Vurige Vijvers display would readily agree, those high standards were not only met, they were far surpassed.