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WWII bunker to be transformed into the biggest digital arts centre in the world

The site in Bordeaux has been constructed by the Germans as a gigantic submarine base
  • November 19, 2019 17:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium bassins 2
Source: © Culturespaces - Nuit de Chine ; © akg-images ; © akg-images / Erich Lessing ; © Heritage Images / Fine Art Images / akgimages

Bordeaux will very soon become home to the largest digital arts centre in the world. The former underwater military base in the French city is currently being transformed into a place for modern and classical art interpretations by Culturespaces. Les Bassins des Lumières (translated as Pools of Lights) is set to open on 17th April 2020.

The former submarine base was one of five structures built by the Germans in France during the Second World War (together with Brest, Lorient, Saint-Nazaire and La Rochelle). This gigantic bunker, organized in eleven cells, occupies today an essential place in the cultural landscape of Bordeaux which is about to increase after its artistic transformation.

Les Bassins des Lumières to host immersive digital art exhibitions in Bordeaux

The arts centre will present monumental immersive digital exhibitions dedicated to the great artists in the history of Art and to contemporary authors. Its size is 5 times bigger than the famous Atelier des Lumières in Paris.

The digital exhibitions will make the best of the monumental architecture of the former underwater base. The art pieces displayed by 90 video projectors will be reflected in the water of the four huge pools, 110 metres long and 22 metres wide each. The visits will take place on footbridges over the water and along the quays of the gigantic basins. The exhibitions will be renewed each year, accepting visitors 7 days a week.

Gustav Klimt : Le Baiser
Simulation : Gustav Klimt : Le Baiser (détail), © Culturespaces - Nuit de Chine ; © akg-images / Erich Lessing ; © akg-images

The programme announced for 2020 includes a long-term display of Gustav Klimt and a short-term exposition of  German artist Paul Klee around the pools. Six new art spaces will be dedicated to the following:

  • The Cube: for the promotion of artists specialized in immersive art;
  • The Cistern: to creating the link between museums and original works;
  • The Great Water Lilies: for the projection of images of the exhibition in the water;
  • A museum area: to present the history of the underwater base;
  • A pedagogic space: to accompany the visit and facilitate the understanding of the immersive exhibition;
  • A mezzanine, a stage and bleachers: to propose different points of view.

Culturespaces was founded in 1990, becoming the first private operator in the field of complete management of monuments, museums and art centers. Under the Brand Culturespaces Digital it has also created the digital art centres in Paris (L’Atelier des Lumières) and Jeju (Le Bunker de Lumières).

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