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Precise Projection Design illuminates Montreal’s new art installation

Mar 27, 2023

The city of Montreal recently unveiled an art installation entitled L’Anneau (The Ring) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its iconic Place Ville Marie building complex. Place Ville Marie (PVM) is a symbolic structure consisting of a business campus, shopping centre and a highly trafficked outdoor walkway. L’Anneau is a 90’ (30m) stainless steel ring positioned at the entrance of the esplanade that is illuminated at night with gobos and colour to reconnect people with the heart of the city.

Designers at the lighting design firm Ombrages needed a way to illuminate the interior of the ring with the ability to switch between a solid colour and a patterned appearance. In order to achieve their goal, they designed six different 2-in-1 custom gobo patterns for the Martin Exterior Projection 500 fixture. Each gobo was one-part linear mask and one-part texture that was inspired by standard pattern designs. This enabled the designers to add or remove texture to the ring as the fixtures cycled through their programming.

Patterned light illuminates the 90’ interior ring of  L’Anneau in Montreal.

The lighting design team provided Rosco with Keystone calculations for each of the lighting positions so that the Custom Glass Gobos could be made to precisely illuminate the ring’s interior. The calculations played a key role in the project because each fixture would be mounted at various distances/angle from The Ring. In the end, 120 Custom B&W Glass Gobos were installed inside 20 of the Martin fixtures to fully illuminate the interior ring of L’Anneau.

Ombrages lighting designer Gilles Arpin recalls “The making of these illuminations was the result of a sharp coordination work between designers and manufacturers to create masks that allowed us to control the light useful for the expression of the contour of the Ring.”

L’Anneau glowing in Permacolor #5401 Amber.

The illumination of the ring also changes colours throughout the night. In order to achieve their specific colour aesthetic, the design team replaced three of the fixtures’ standard colour filters with three custom cut Permacolor dichroic glass filters. Gilles shared how “the illumination in warm white light by default is the one chosen for the rendering of materiality and an assumed but peaceful presence of the Ring in the daily nocturnal landscape.” The Permacolor filters he chose to create the peaceful presence of L’Anneau are P1337 Light Pink, P5401 Amber and P1065 Mediterranean Blue.

The next time you’re in Montreal, plan to spend an evening downtown to experience the 90-foot glow of L’Anneau. To learn more about the project and PVM’s history, visit: If you’d like to learn more about the products that the design team used to illuminate the interior contour of L’Anneau, please explore the Custom Glass Gobo and Permacolor product pages on the Rosco website.

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