Located in Montreal’s downtown core, Soubois restaurant provides patrons with a truly unique setting; one that recreates the outdoors, indoors, using a combination of custom-created interior design elements and a state of the art LED lighting system designed and installed by Moog Audio.
In English, Soubois (sou-bois) translates as undergrowth, and the restaurant lives up to its name beautifully, with décor that creates what can only be described as an magical underground forest, and features pillars disguised as the stylized trunks of giant trees supporting a lattice work forest canopy, lush plants hanging around the space and placed on tables, and rustic, yet modern, wooden elements for bars and seating that make it seem as if you are dining in a forest or garden, complete with various outbuildings peeking through the surrounding vegetation.
Soubois’ lighting was designed by Moog Audio’s Alexandre Kano – using products supplied by SFM – and only deepens the sensation of an underground forest/garden setting. A variety of LED elements, including Lumi, Elation Professional, ADJ, Antari and Colorbeam products, were deployed throughout Soubois to create a versatile system that takes into account the comfort of diners, the need to create subtly different atmospheres in various areas of the space, and to transform the atmosphere for day and nighttime applications, in equal measure.
Since opening in June 2015 Soubois has been praised by patrons and media alike for both its décor and cuisine; a menu that emphasizes fresh, regionally sourced ingredients and seasonal dishes created by Chef Guillaume Daly. Moog was hired by Jean-Francois Gervais of Speakeasy (one of several partners working on the project), and asked to provide a distinctive lighting design to underpin Soubois’ signature atmosphere. “The goal,” Kano explains, “was to create an automated lighting system to create the atmosphere of underbrush and forest. We’ve even managed to simulate a sunset and also to create the movement of the leaves on the central trees.”
Achieving Kano’s vision in a space located below the ground with no natural light was no small feat but the final design concept and suite of lighting elements chosen would result in a singularly striking environment and dining experience. A mix of Colorbeam Pol-50 and Pol-111s (84 and 40 fixtures respectively), were installed throughout the space. These are all powered and connected using Cat 5 and Cat 6 Ethernet cables run discreetly between the fixtures and controlled via DMX.
Complimenting those elements are ADJ Ultra Bar 12 fixtures, which illuminate Soubois’ walls in much the same way exterior architectural lighting would and reinforce the impression of being outdoors. As ambient and accent lighting around bars and shelving, 40-metres of Lumi RGB 30, RGBW and CTC LED tape provide a huge variety of colours as well as white light ranging from warm candlelight to a blue, xenon type, light.
To further the impact of the transformation between daytime restaurant and evening supper club/lounge, compact fazers (2 Antari Z-350s and 1 Antari F-1) as well as 6 Elation Sniper 2R hybrid effects projector/scanner/laser simulators were also installed in Soubois’ lounge. The end result is a system that’s highly flexible and offers all the benefits of LED lighting technology including extremely long life – an estimated 50,000 hours in total – which was a major factor in the choice of LED.
Kano’s work has garnered praise from the client and Soubois’ patrons, and has already led Moog to another project with Speakeasy as well as an uptick in interest from other potential clients. “It’s become a high profile restaurant in Montreal,” Katsipis concludes. “There’s been lot of publicity, a lot of customers and it’s really beautiful.”