PARIS, FRANCE (July 7, 2014) – Every evening, 17,000 LED lights will transform the façade of the Publicis Groupe headquarters on the Champs Elysées in Paris. It is the only façade of its kind in the world, a symbol of brilliant French distinction.
NEW ATTRACTION ON THE CHAMPS ELYSEES
After 24 months of design, research and preparations, the 800m2 façade of the Publicis Groupe headquarters will now put on a dazzling show every night with over 600m2 of LED lights. With the help of 17,000 LED lights, the façade has been transformed into a unique light display – A veritable symbol of the bright French spark of innovation.
AN EXCEPTIONAL LIGHT SIGNATURE
Beginning July 7, 2014, Publicis Groupe unveils the new illuminated façade of its Groupe headquarters 133 Avenue des Champs Elysées to both employees and the public. This illumination, with its unprecedented and remarkable technological prowess, will activate every evening at sunset.
Built around a spiral 22 meters high, the 800m² of glass facade on the Publicis building will now be lit by 17,000 LEDs across over 600m2 akin to the pixels of a high definition screen. A complex and perfectly formed grid will draw shapes with abstract or figurative movements. The show will be constantly updated throughout the year depending on what’s happening and the imagination of its creators.
A MYTHICAL ADDRESS
Following a trip to the United States, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, founder of the Publicis advertising agency, set up his offices in the former location of the Astoria hotel built in 1900 at the top of the Champs Elysées. In 1958 he opened the first European drugstore on the ground floor, the Publicis Drugstore – a bar, restaurant, cinema, boutique, newsstand, tobacco shop and pharmacy open “all night” (until 2 A.M.). It revolutionized Parisian life.
The Publicis headquarters and drugstore were completely destroyed by a fire in 1972. Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet then entrusted the architect Pierre Dufau, a leading practitioner and visionary in office building architecture, with the reconstruction of the building. He created a simple building, with no grand architectural gestures, impressive hanging gardens and mirrored glass to reflect the Arc de Triomphe.
In 1999, Elisabeth Badinter and Maurice Lévy wanted to mark the new millennium for the Publicis Drugstore on the Champs Elysées. Their wish was to make the building even more symbolic than it already was. In 2004, the Californian architect of Italian origin, Michele Saee, transformed the drugstore in collaboration with ECA2, a Publicis Groupe agency, by installing 153 curved glass veils on the old facade. The dynamics of these glass veils allows for the building to not inhibit the view of the Arc de Triomphe, maximizing its location at the top of the avenue.
In 2014, Maurice Lévy called again upon the technological and imaginative resources of ECA2. The aim was to make the building the new nocturnal place-to-be on the world’s most beautiful avenue.
NEW SIGHT ON THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL AVENUE
Publicis is offering a new digital lights show on the Champs Élysées, the timeless symbol of French elegance, located in the heart of Paris. By dressing the building in a remarkable blanket of lights across the façade, Publicis and its legendary Publicis Drugstore will highlight the global influence of a French company on the most beautiful avenue in the world. What better gesture to restore the hopes and dreams of the entrepreneurial spirit in France by reminding everyone that Publicis is the world leader in digital its sector.
TECHNICAL PROWESS THAT’S ARTISTIC, DIGITAL AND GREEN
The challenge was nearly insurmountable… To install a technological structure on an already complex architectural piece. Thanks to the expertise of 20 rope access technicians, the 17,000 LED lights were installed from the top of the building. The absolutely perfect grid pattern of the LED lights produces a final result unlike any other. To interpret each convex curve of the 153 glass veils on the façade, ECA2 had to design a unique prototype, the only one of its kind in the world. Strict constraints meant it had to respect the spirit of design of the existing structure, the identity of the Champs Elysées and nearby Arc de Triomphe, not to mention the peace and quiet of the employees behind the windows of the building. In addition, compliance with an
environmental charter is another strong point of the project, which consumes very little energy: each pixel only consumes 1 watt per hour, which at full capacity is 17 kilowatts for the entire building.
ECA2, ALCHEMISTS OF THE SHOW
The ECA2 team who dreamed up the whole of this installation is the same team who created and orchestrated the Eiffel Tower millennium show. ECA2 is a world leader in creating multimedia spectacles. The company has nearly 30 years international expertise in the creation of unique, immersive, large-scale, emotive experiences. From the beginning, ECA2 has stood out from the crowd most notably with its sound and light creations for Futuroscope*.
In 2014, ECA2 is more than ever at the centre of major events worldwide: Nigeria’s Centenary celebrations* in the Abuja National Stadium, the grand opening of King Abdullah Sports City* in Saudi Arabia as well as the design and development of the new permanent show on Sentosa Island (Singapore) “Wings of Time” *.
The opening and closing ceremonies of the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004 as well as the iconic spectacle of the International Expo Yeosu (South Korea) the Big-O Show* produced in 2012, are the major events orchestrated by ECA2 which remain etched in countless memories.
Follow the conversation and participate via the hashtag : #publicisillumination
EXPERIENCE IT YOURSELF
Where: Publicis Drugstore, 133 Avenue des Champs Élysées- 150m from the Place de l’Etoile
When: Throughout the year beginning at sunset
17,105 pixels (light points) each with 6 video LED lights (SMD RVB)
5 km of cables
6 months of design sketches
15 months of technical research
3 months of site preparation
20 people of whom 10 rope access technicians from Savoy
* ECA2 References:
– 2000 Eiffel Tower Millennium show: http://bit.ly/1mzhE5g
– 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens: http://bit.ly/1z4mTDP
– 2009 Futuroscope: http://bit.ly/1mMJT5d
– 2012 Big-O Show: http://bit.ly/1z1RyBW
– 2014 Nigeria Centenary celebrations: http://bit.ly/1z1RDFv
– 2014 King Abdullah Stadium inauguration: http://bit.ly/1rPdTxB
– 2014 “Wings of Time”: www.facebook.com/ECA2Paris
– Official inauguration of the illumination: 07/07/2014
– Images of the installation and inauguration at 133 avenue des Champs Elysées available as of July 8, 2014: http://goo.gl/eGImM0
About Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40] is one of the world’s leading communications groups. The Groupe offers a full range of services and skills: digital (DigitasLBi, Razorfish, Rosetta, VivaKi), advertising (BBH, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi), public affairs, corporate communications and events (MSLGROUP), media strategy, planning and buying (Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia), healthcare communications, with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG), and finally, brand asset production with Prodigious. Present in 108 countries, the Groupe employs 62,000 professionals.