The Painting With Light team, from the top - Paco Mispelters, Jeroen Opsteyn, Cedric Eestermans , Nele Gregoor. Michael Al-Far, Katleen Selleslagh, Geert Moors, Luc Peumans, Nicole Engelen and Bart Van Craeynest (photo: Eva Asdou)
Belgium - Lighting and visual design practice Painting with Light's new office in the Paardenstallen (stables) at the C-MINE development in Genk, Belgium was officially declared open by Genk Mayor, Wim Dries, at the weekend.

The restoration of the listed building - once home to the Winterslag mine's working ponies - has been a three-year labour of love by Painting with Light founder and CEO Luc Peumans, working together with local architect Ruben Hermans. It also represents completion of the final element of Stage 1 of the wider C-MINE project -- led by Genk City Council - to regenerate the site of the former mine which is right at the heart of Genk's rich industrial heritage.

Says Luc, one of the best known show and lighting and multimedia designers in Benelux, "I was delighted with just how many people came to the event to share an incredibly proud moment in the company's development and also a great personal landmark. It's not just the opening of a new office ... we are starting a new chapter in Painting with Light's history. The fact it's also related to the overall C-MINE regeneration adds yet more resonance to the occasion ... so there are multiple exciting elements."

For Luc, the new office project actually started in 2008 when he first acquired the building which he had always liked - even when in a state of complete dereliction. "It had an amazing aura about it and a certain charisma that really appealed to me, so I just wanted to breathe a new life into it," explained Luc whose vision recognised its enormous potential.

The rebuilding and construction work was intense and started in 2011. The Paardenstallen now provides a cool, highly creative and contemporary workspace within which Painting with Light and two other companies - who sub-rent from Luc - can flourish - plus attractive event and meeting spaces which are available for private hire.

In addition to launching the new office, Painting with Light revealed their brand new corporate ID, including vibrant new logo and new look website

After a lively speech by Wim Dries and a Q&A session between Luc and TV presenter Cynthia Reekmans, guests were treated to a short video introducing Painting with Light and then a special visual show in the Paardenstallen Studio / event space, with lighting supplied by PRG EML and lasers from Laser Forum in the Netherlands. The laser show featured a special narrative incorporating the story of the building, culminating in the presentation of the new Painting with Light logo in 3D with its strap line "Your link to dazzle and shine".

The building's permanent interior and exterior architectural lighting scheme - designed by Luc - was enhanced for the opening event evenings by four of PRG's new Icon Beam fixtures, which were installed on the roof to light the way for guests.

"The building - and the restoration project - has been a huge source of inspiration for all of us," says Luc, "Having an invigorating workspace for the team was always a fundamental part of my plan for moving the company forward. The space works perfectly as another complimentary element uniting the synergies and talents that make up Painting with Light."

Luc founded the company in 1999 and plans for 2016 already include focussing on increasing the international workbase and the opening of a new office in the Middle East.

(Jim Evans)

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