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Mar Elias Kantari Church Lighting

The Mar Elias Church was built in the early twentieth century and inaugurated in 1907. Following the Lebanese Civil war, it was completely renovated in 2001. Mar Elias al Kantari is the Church our family goes to. We were approached by the Priest back in 2008 while he was face-lifting the facades and wanted us to assist in the works. Since then, our firm has taken at its charge all the design and engineering works related to the church’s renovation with a special care to its lighting. A generous Donor funds yearly renovation works such as reception areas to revamp with new furniture and acoustics, stained glass panels and facades to maintain, and the latest works; a new internal lighting scheme. The Church’s architecture is common for the region but the serenity that embraces the visitor once stepped through the large doors is unique. Originally designed with sodium up-lights to highlight its Basilica Type architecture, the Church was over-lit but had a very warm-like feeling as if in a cocoon that matched the earthiness of the existing stone walls. The current lighting scheme chooses to tone down the intensity and draw the detailed features of the church. Following the renovation, the walls were stripped down to their original state uncovering the clay stone that emanates a very warm feeling both to the eye and to the touch. As for the central Vaulted ceiling, the white painted plaster remains, creating a contrast between the human level and the celestial level. As the result of the above, the series of arcades that structure the space are drawn with light to emphasize the rhythm. One feels humble but at ease as there is warm like lighting on the lower part of the space and the ceiling is floodlighted with a cooler temperature light. The Pieta was front-lit with narrow and wide beams projectors but the surprise came from the trick sconce that gives the impression that there is a hallo of light behind Jesus’ head. The Alter area receives a special lighting. The Cross hand painted by Romanian artists is lit with two crossed sculpture lenses projectors on track. There is a special emphasis also made for the marbled Choir area and the glass alter.

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