Les Lumières : Opening Night

Les Lumières : Opening Night

A Chicago Architecture Biennial Partner Program

Thursday, October 7 at 6:00 p.m.
Free Admission • Pre-registration mandatory for your safety!
In Person • In English

Register now

A dazzling event! Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind opening night when we turn on the light of the billboard-size sculpture crowning our Chicago Avenue building. 

Join us  for the opening night of Les Lumières : Urban Buffet with BOA Light Studio, the French collective lighting up architecture worldwide with projects such as Le Monde's headquarters in Paris.

Opening night includes an introduction by Philippe Stanfield-Pinel from BOA; a panel discussion, part of the French Cultural Services Cité/City series, with experts in the fields of Public Art, Architecture and Urbanism; and, as night falls, the inauguration of the billboard-size sculpture crowning the Alliance Française building on Chicago Avenue.

Bring your own light and celebrate with us!

The sculpture of light Urban Buffet and the BOA Light Studio exhibition open on Thursday, October 7. The exhibition can be viewed during our business hours until November 8. The sculpture of light is best seen at night until January 4. Explore our neighborhood for the best viewpoint… and tag your selfie #BOAbuffet

Les Lumières: Urban Buffet is one of three Chicago Architecture Biennial partner programs sponsored by the Alliance Française de Chicago and the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in the US and their Cité/City Series.

This program is possible in part thanks to the Jean Bodfish Brown Memorial Fund.


Les Lumières: Urban Buffet

BOA Light Studio crowns the Alliance Française's roof with a light sculpture. This available space advertises all the unused, run down or vanished commercial billboards as the technological revolution leads to new means of communication. A reference to the “Siècle des Lumières”, the sculpture lights the way for a bold vision : what if the city's available billboards were given a second life to create a denser art presence, making creative speech more accessible to neighborhoods across the city? 


BOA Light Studio is a fine-arts lighting studio based in Paris, France. They specialize in technically intricate and detail-oriented work that results in a unique sensory experience that brings architecture and storytelling together. “For over a decade, our multidisciplinary collective has been transforming light into a language that can be adapted to various scales. From artistic to functional installations, we design architectural lighting, scenographies and nocturnal landscapes. Our approach is global and each of our projects contributes to its ecosystem. We create tailor-made atmospheres.” --BOA Light Studio

BOA Light Studio has worked on projects such as Le Monde Headquarters and Denver International Airport. You can see more of their work here.

Special thanks to Phillipe Stanfield-Pinel and Nedir Benkhelfia for their work and contributions to this project.


The Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) is dedicated to creating an international forum on architecture and urbanism. It produces year-round programs and a biennial exposition of city-wide activations for a diverse audience of designers, educators, advocates, and students. CAB’s mission is to engage and inspire professional and public audiences,  highlight the transformative power of architecture and envision a future for the field that is equitable and sustainable. Over the course of its first three internationally heralded editions, which hosted 1.5 million visitors, CAB has presented projects created by more than 350 architects, designers, and artists from over 40 countries.

The Available City, the 2021 edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, is a framework for a collaborative, community-led design approach that presents transformative possibilities for vacant urban spaces that are created with and for local residents. --Chicago Architecture Biennial