Ville de Lumiere

Proposal to the Kimmel Center / Concept by RJ Thornburg of Bahdeebahdu


The decade from 1910-1920 in France was a time of unprecedented accomplishment and extravagance. From flying technologies, photographic breakthroughs, historical flooding, lavish fashions, striking visual arts, and theatrical provocations, the Belle Epoque, or “Beautiful Era” in Paris was one to never be forgotten. With the Kimmel’s upcoming month long Arts’ Festival that is being inspired and themed around this, we would like to present a design for “theming” the lobby of the Kimmel Center so that all can see and experience the era that started major transformations in the arts and still works in tandem with the arts today.

Fusing the Kimmel’s lobby area with Paris of that time, we want to dedicate certain sections of the space as you move through it to the arrondissments that inspired the world of the living arts. From the Tuileries, around to Montparnasse, Montmartre with the Moulin Rouge, take a little side trip to Pigalle(Paris by Night) or enjoy some shopping in the Elysee. Fleurs, vin, chocolat, and much more. We want all those who experience the Kimmel for the PIFA 2011 to experience the best of Philadelphia Arts and Performance 2011 while recalling Paris 1910-1920, as if it had been pulled out of a memory, a child’s dream, a fantasy of escape, and placed before them to encounter within the Kimmel.