| |

Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

December 5, 2023

At 170 m (554 ft) long and 50 m (160 ft) high, the Coaticook Canyon Bridge at Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook is one of the longest suspension footbridges in North America and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Eastern Townships.

For several years, the Parc de la Gorge management team dreamed of revitalizing the bridge in a unique manner to increase tourism. The idea was for the bridge to become a dynamic, adaptive, and immersive annual attraction featuring nature and how it communicates to us. They called upon cadabra to rejuvenate this emblematic structure, which has become a source of awe for hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The design goal was to illuminate the iconic structure without compromising the view of the park’s landscape to ensure the preservation of its natural heritage, and develop a technology that both harmonizes with, and resists, the wide weather fluctuations in the region.

Completed in June 2021, the many light movements adorning the structure react to Coaticook’s varying weather conditions.

The light interprets humidity levels, wind speed and direction, and temperature by drawing and animating dynamic organic content.

The illuminated canvas adapts to natural elements to create a living digital artwork that is unique to each visit. On a hot day, for example, the lights shine in warmer tones of white, orange, and red. The system also accommodates various displays to mark special events or notable weather conditions. For instance, during high winds, rainfall, or snowstorms, visitors will witness magical and privileged moments.

“Stories are at the heart of our experiences and creations and it is in this same perspective that we developed this unique concept for the Coaticook suspension footbridge. We wanted to let the environment express itself, it is nature that orchestrates the illumination of the bridge throughout the year,” explained Blancan.

Garou Blancan, cadabra

Color Kinetics products were selected for its high-performance, professional LED lighting systems that provide excellent color and control consistency over long periods of time. Color Kinetics iColor Flex MX gen2 (2500 nodes) (now specified with Flex Micro gen3, RGB) were placed in a manner designed to highlight the impressive architecture of the suspension bridge.

The farther away from the center of the bridge, the greater the distance between the nodes: 4 inches apart in the middle of the bridge, 12 inches apart farther away from center, and 24 inches apart at the extremities of the bridge. The bridge is connected to a weather data feed, and a sensor mounted on the bridge captures wind and temperature data in real time to then animate the lighting of the bridge. Color Kinetics PDS-60 24V provides power and data to a good part of the system.

“We wanted to program a visual canvas that could offer a different experience with each new visit. The Coaticook footbridge provides generative content that adapts according to the climate and offers a unique, ever-changing light spectacle.”

Garou Blancan, cadabra

Project Credits

Client: Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook

Lighting Designer: Garou Blancan, cadabra

Programmer: Loan Rixhon, cadabra

Technical Direction: Balint Bucher, XYZ Technologies  

Installers: EXP

Certified System Integrator: XYZ Technologies

Electrical Contractor: Alain Bellefeuille électrique

More information available here

Related Articles


Changing Scene

  • 5 Simple Steps Towards Sustainable Lighting

    February 20, 2024 Here are five practical actions you can take –today! – to move towards designing more sustainably. Sustainability in lighting – a broad, sometimes confusing topic, that can be looked at in many ways. Circular lighting economy, material ingredient reporting (MIRs), environmental product declarations (EPDs), life cycle analyses (LCAs), factory working conditions, carbon… Read More…

  • Lighting Design International Calls for Greater Sustainability Across Lighting Design Projects

    February 19, 2024 Leading lighting design consultancy, Lighting Design International (LDI) has been raising awareness of the need for greater sustainability across the built environment. LDI’s Associate, Arianna Ghezzi, shared these principles as part of a panel discussion at the recent and most successful Surface Design Show. The talk focused on Circularity in Lighting, and… Read More…


Design

  • Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    February 6, 2024 Since 1940, WFCU Credit Union is a prominent and forward-thinking financial institution based in Windsor and Essex County. For over 80 years, WFCU has been dedicated to serving Ontario residents, community, organizations, small businesses, commercial entities, and public institutions. Their new headquarters in Kitchener was created as they continue to grow their… Read More…

  • Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    December 5, 2023 At 170 m (554 ft) long and 50 m (160 ft) high, the Coaticook Canyon Bridge at Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook is one of the longest suspension footbridges in North America and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Eastern Townships. For several years, the Parc de la… Read More…


New Products

  • FLEX Series Flood Light from CSC LED

    FLEX Series Flood Light from CSC LED

    February 21, 2024 Flood / Area lighting has never been easier with all the features you will ever need in one sleek, attractive package. The rugged Flex Series die-cast aluminum fixtures are photocell and sensor compatible, stocked in bronze, black, and white for quick shipping! FLEX Series Flood Light Features MOUNTING SOLD SEPARATELY More information… Read More…

  • Legrand Introduces the radiant® LED Advanced Dimmer for Seamless LED Dimming

    February 15, 2024 Designed for use with today’s modern dimmable LED bulbs and fixtures, the radiant® LED Advanced Dimmer showcases advanced circuitry to eliminate common dimming issues, ensuring a superior lighting control experience. Legrand® has introduced its latest advanced LED dimmer in the radiant® Collection. Offering the widest dimming range possible, the dimmer boasts advanced circuitry… Read More…