The Hall des Lumieres will open this fall in New York City, and bring immersive digital art to a whole new scale.

The Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank was built in 1909, a Beaux-Arts icon designed by Raymond F. Almirall. When it was completed in 1912, it was the largest bank building in the America, and it was the first skyscraper (at just 17 stories) to use an ‘H’ layout to make sure every room was full of light. It was made a New York City landmark in 1985, and in the 2000s, the upper stories were gradually converted into condominiums.

In 2020, the French museum franchise Culturespaces announced that they would be opening a digital art museum in the cathedral-like banking hall. That opening has been pushed back several times, but at last a firm date is set.

The Hall des Lumieres will feature works of art projected at grand scale onto and into both the grand architecture of the bank and custom-made set pieces. Visitors will walk among the giants of the art world, and the projections are made to include them, painting viewers with the art itself.

The grand design is an “opportunity to play with different senses and emotions, placing the public at the very heart of the experience and inviting them to move through a multidimensional space where they end up becoming an integral part of the work, surrounded by images on the walls, floors and ceiling,” creative director Gianfranco Iannuzzi said in an interview.

The debut exhibition for the Hall des Lumieres will be Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion. The famous Austrian painter’s work, glowing and 30 feet tall, will fold, animate, and float around the visitors to the music of Beethoven, Puccini, and others.

It opens September 14th, and tickets are already on sale for dates through the end of the year.

Photo: Aberu.Go / Shutterstock

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