The illumination of the Reims Cathedral, listed a world heritage monument by UNESCO, was designed using a single type of light (champagne white, 3000K), which reconstitutes the particular colour of the stone; it was intended to enable a rediscovery of the cathedral at night, in order to anchor it visually in its nocturnal dark environment, defined by the black silhouettes of the trees of the garden.
Depending on their movements, the direction of the itinerary, the approaches to the site, different readings of the illuminated cathedral are now offered to visitors.
According to the viewing angles, the light highlights some details while concealing others.
The light reveals the rigorous composition and the monumentality of the edifice illuminates the statues like stars to accompany a romantic stroll along the edge of the garden.
Progressive intensity of light, from the bottom upwards, emphasizes the vertical thrust of the cathedral, embedded in the urban fabric.
The lighting of the flying buttresses underlines the lightness of the edifice, and gives readability to the “clerestory” of the west front.
In this soft, all-encompassing light, the statuary, the many details and the reliefs are enhanced by a grazing lighting that magnifies all the richness and diversity of the cathedral stone iconography.
The monuments going with the Cathedral are grazed by a soft light, so that they simply stand out from the urban environment.