If you were to hear that an iceberg had hit Montreal, you probably wouldn’t believe it as the city is situated 216 metres above sea level.
However, an interactive, architectural, light and sound installation has in fact hit the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec, and it’s been going down a storm with locals and tourists alike.
Iceberg by Québécois creative design company ATOMIC3, consists of a series of metal arches illuminated by hi-tech, colour-changing LED lights. The arches are arranged in a north-south configuration, from the Place des Festivals to the Place des Arts esplanade, and figuratively tell the story of an iceberg’s life, from its inception in Arctic waters to its melting point in warmer, more southerly climes.
The installation's four main passages, or 'skeletons', are designed to resemble an iceberg at four stages during its journey. Four life stages: four different shapes and sizes, four illuminated spaces and, above all, four unique sound and light-scapes.
Visitors to the installation are able to walk through the passages and, as they explore the arches, motion sensors detect their movements triggering changes in light and sound that enliven the iceberg in an almost infinite number of different ways.
The size and shape of the structures resemble a floating glacier as it moves through the water and melts. Similarly, the changing sound-scape provides its own accompaniment to the iceberg's southward drift.
In the north, visitors are treated to sounds from nature, but as they move south through the installation, the sounds change, becoming richer and more harmonious. Eventually, as the iceberg drifts past inhabited coastlines, they hear music playing.
The iceberg's journey ends at the Place des Arts esplanade, where it is reduced to chunks of ice floating at the base of a cliff. Here the tunnels are so small that only a child may enter.
The amazing installation was the deserved winner of the 2012 Light Therapy competition, presented by The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership in Montreal, and illustrates just what can be achieved with LED lighting and a little bit of imagination.
Take a look at this video from ATOMIC3, which shows just how wonderful the installation really was: