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Culturespaces – Eric Spiller
© Culturespaces – Eric Spiller

Les Bassins des Lumières - the world's largest digital art centre is in Bordeaux

Les Bassins des Lumières, the world's largest digital art center, hosts exhibitions that immerse us in the masterpieces of the great names in art history. Easily reached by public transport or bicycle, this unusual venue steeped in history will fascinate the whole family.

Les Bassins des Lumières - The largest digital art centre in the world 

Five times bigger than the Atelier des Lumières in Paris, an old submarine base - a sombre vestige of the second world war - revealed a new purpose in June 2020 on the Port de la Lune. With four 110 metre-long pools of water, a projection surface area of 12,000 m² and 90 video projectors, Les Bassins des Lumières is recognised as the largest digital art centre in the world. 

Interactive, monumental in size and immersive: the success of this project drawn up by Culture Espace owes nothing to chance.  Indeed, it took 19 months of work to end up at this point where the concrete walls and pools of water reflect some of the most beautiful works in the History of art and contemporary creation in a jaw-dropping, otherworldly atmosphere. 

Masterpieces from around the world leap out of their frames, transforming into experiential projections that run 12 metres high and 22 metres wide to a matching high-quality musical backdrop. Walk amongst the colours, observe fascinating forms in the water’s reflections and make out a path between light and shadow, with the sound of the commentary in your ears. The pioneering 2020 Klimt exhibition beat all records, despite the unprecedented context, attracting nearly 500,000 visitors, before giving way to the “Venise, la Sérénissime” and Cosmos exhibitions, and from 3rd February, two new top-class exhibitions. 

Exposition au Bassins des Lumières
© Lefevre Fine Art Ltd., London © Bridgeman Images

Hundreds of works brought together over 12,000 m², from floor to ceiling 

While these famous paintings may have been spread across the world, Les Bassins de Lumières is bringing them all together for a few months. Powerful, dazzling colours take possession of the floor, the reflections in the water, the walls, overflowing the whole space. The projections match the monumental architecture of “the submarine base”. To the sound of musical compositions, the works come to life and take us back in time to their era.

Yves Klein
L’œuvre d’Yves Klein

THE CUBE, WHERE CONTEMPORARY CREATION GROWS 

Le Cube is a space dedicated to contemporary artists working in immersive art. It is 220 m² in surface area and 8 metres high, inviting the visitor to observe the elements around them, questioning their existence and imagining new possibilities. 

“THE SUBMARINE BASE”: A NAVAL VESTIGE RIDING THE NEW WAVE 

The “submarine base” is one of the five bases built on the Atlantic coast during the Second World War. While the Bassins des Lumières occupies the first four cavities, the second part of the building is accessible to the public and includes multifunctional spaces dedicated to creation and diffusion managed by the City of Bordeaux.

Included in Bordeaux CityPass!

For those who wish to make the most of their stay, the Bordeaux CityPass is really the best. This pass is available for 24, 48 or 72 consecutive hours. Included:

  • La Cité du Vin (before 12pm)
  • The Bassins de Lumières
  • Unlimited access to tram, bus, river shuttle
  • 20 museums and monuments
  • 1 guided tour
  • Many discounts on cruises, wine tours and more

Practical information

Address

Base sous-marine
Impasse Brown de Colstoun
33300 Bordeaux

How do I get there?

From downtown (Quinconces stop)

  • Tram C : stop Ravezies (direction Blanquefort or parc des expos)
  • Then bus n°9 : stop base sous-marine (direction Brandenburg)

From Gare Saint Jean

  • Tram C : stop Ravezies (direction Blanquefort ou parc des expos)
  • Then bus n°9 : stop base sous-marine (direction Brandenburg)

Bike share services

  • Station Latule (boulevard Alfred-Daney)

Accessibility

The Bassins des Lumières are fully accessible to people with reduced mobility. They are entitled to free admission on presentation of proof of entitlement, but cannot buy free tickets online; free admission is granted on site. The accompanying person is entitled to the reduced rate.

Near the Bassins des Lumières