A former convent classified as a Historic Monument, the Dominicans of Guebwiller is a place of Alsatian architectural heritage where Rhine humanism flows. It was built in the 14th century, under the Holy Roman Empire. Consisting of a church and a cloister, it went through many wars and revolts before being deserted by the Dominican friar preachers during the French Revolution. Buildings declared national property was then sold to individuals.
In the 19th century, Jean-Jacques Bourcart, one of the first private owners of the convent, divided the church choir into two parts, to create a new suspended concert hall: the so-called superior choir.
The so-called lower choir becomes the site of many secret stories, it is indeed almost hidden and intimate. It is then the ideal place to develop the dimension of the alternative Dominican convent and present technological creations there.
The first audiovisual installation dates from 2014 with Optoma projectors and will serve as a place of creation for artists in residence in the Dominicans. It is also regularly open to the public during concerts or visits to the Convent, the Mapping Lower Choir is the most regularly used site installation (around 800 hours per year).
It was decided in 2020 to completely renew the projectors HD Ready, lamp-based projectors, replacing them with Full HD laser projectors.
The previous installation was equipped with Optoma GT760 projectors; these were HD Ready 720p lamp-based which output 3400 lumens. It was requested to transform and replace the installation with Full HD projectors with laser light source for ease of maintenance. Olivier Guillemin, technical director at the Couvent des Dominicains added: "[The GT760s] have proven their reliability over the past 5 years". It was therefore natural that the new installation would continue to feature Optoma projectors.
This intimate and immersive space is on the ground floor of the Church section of the Dominican Convent. At over 9 metres wide and 19 metres long and having no windows, it is a huge windowless choir which allows for real immersion.
The projection system must make it possible to cover this surface at 360° on the vertical part of the walls. Choosing short throw projectors simplifies the installation process.
Olivier Guillemin said: "The choice therefore fell naturally to the same brand with laser versions which also offer a very good quality / price ratio."
The Optoma ZH406ST model was chosen because it offers Full HD 1080p resolution as well as a brightness of 4200 lumens, and a short throw of 0.50:1. It is equipped with a DuraCore laser light source that offers over 30,000 hours of maintenance-free life, so it can be installed in any position, without worrying about the ventilation of the lamp. It is also certified IP6X dust resistant, which means that the optical assembly is hermetically mounted to protect it against ingress of dust.
It was necessary to install 8 ZH406ST projectors for this mapping, representing a total projection area of 56m long by 3.96m high. A sound system has been adapted for the project in order to create a real immersive atmosphere, and for this visitors will use wireless headsets (40 headsets available).
Today, Les Dominicains de Haute-Alsace is a cultural meeting Centre, animated by an artistic project around music, all music, in connection with digital arts.
The current immersive mapping created by videographer Claire Willemann offers a hypnotic atmosphere called Blue. As a visitor, you'll be transported among the giant jellyfish and the planets at your fingertips to the sound of composer Vladislav Isaev. This trip took place from July 15 to August 30 and will be accessible again on Saturday 19 September 2020 for heritage days.
Olivier Guillemin added: "The gain in contrast and shades of colour makes the work much richer and more intense."