Montreal Clock Tower Pier

Montreal's Clock Tower is an iconic marker of the Old Montreal harbor. Built between 1919 and 1922 as a memorial for sailors killed during World War I, the clock's mechanism is a replica of London's Big Ben, explaining its reputed accuracy. Along with landscape architect Claude Cormier, lighting designer at Éclairage Public Gilles Arpin was hired to revitalize the waterfront while curbing the use of energy.

For years, an over-lit scheme had masked the Clock Tower's ornate features. "From Sherbrooke Street or from the islands, you could see a big splash of light from there," Arpin recounts. "But up close, it was very annoying to have that huge amount of luminousness beside you…So we wanted to accentuate the tower's verticality and some of the details that you don't see in the daytime while the light is flat."

Arpin chose Lumenfacade and Lumenbeam fixtures to graze the tower's surfaces and emphasize its cornices and mouldings. He also added accents to the pinnacle, a defining part of the tower left obscured by the former flood lighting scheme. Today, Arpin's design makes the structure discernible from afar and comfortable up close.

The bollards along the area's waterfront walkways were a source of glare until Arpin made a few welcomed alterations. "We replaced the source of the bollards with [one-foot] Lumenfacades, angled so that they direct light at the street," he says. Special 60° x 10° optics were used in some areas to cast narrow shafts of light to form a rhythmic pattern along the walkway. As a result, the area's softer lighting now inspires more leisurely nighttime strolls.

Equipment Specified

Clock Tower
4 x Lumenbeam Large (6500 K, narrow 10° optic)
8 x Lumenbeam Large (3000 K, narrow 10° optic)
4 x Lumenbeam Large (3000 K, flood 40° optic)
8 x Lumenbeam Large (3000 K, flood 40° optic)
3 x Lumenbeam Medium (3000 K, flood 40° optic)
12 x Lumenfacade HO (2', 3000 K, 10° x 60° optics)
9 x Lumenfacade HO (3', 3000 K, 10° x 60° optics)
5 x Lumenfacade HO (4', 3000 K, 10° x 60° optics)

Bollards & Walkways
51 x Lumenfacade (1', 3000 K, special 60° x 10° optics)
37 x Lumenfacade (1', end-to-end, 3000 K, 30° x 60° optics)
24 x Lumenfacade (1', 3000 K, 30° x 60° optics)

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Market: Urban
Architect: Cardinal Hardy
Lighting Design: Eclairage Public
Client: Société du Vieux-Port de Montréal
Photographer: Sebastien Racicot

The idea was to give a certain sense of place to the whole thing.

Gilles Arpin
Éclairage Public