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Hall des Lumières
Photograph: Mark Zhelezoglo for Hall des Lumières

See inside NYC's new immersive art center Hall des Lumières

"Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion" will debut in the beautiful new space this week.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
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Immersive art experiences in New York are getting the royal treatment with the upcoming opening of Hall des Lumières, the city's latest permanent center for custom-designed immersive events at the historic Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank by City Hall.

The new space is scheduled to open this Wednesday, marking its launch with (what else?) an inaugural immersive exhibit about iconic Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. 

Tickets to "Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion" are already on sale right here. Given the magnitude of the new cultural center, you'd be remiss not to snag passes to the show right away but, just in case you need some other reasons to check out the space, we previewed it for you.

Here are some awesome things to keep in mind before visiting Hall des Lumières for the very first time.

Hall des Lumières
Photograph: Mark Zhelezoglo for Hall des Lumières
Hall des Lumières
Photograph: Mark Zhelezoglo for Hall des Lumières

1. The featured exhibits will be created specifically for the space

We've all been to the sorts of immersive exhibitions that take over giant warehouses in New York, displaying beautiful works of art across large walls.

Things at Hall des Lumières will be a bit different, though: each projected image will be mapped precisely to the exact specifications of the building, so you'll notice Klimt's iconic works on columns, ceilings, skylights and more. That will be the case when dealing with future shows as well.

The musical soundtrack that will accompany your visit to "Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion" is also an original work that was developed specifically for this particular presentation.

Hall des Lumières
Photograph: Mark Zhelezoglo for Hall des Lumières
Hall des Lumières
Photograph: Mark Zhelezoglo for Hall des Lumières

2. Tickets to the Klimt show will also give you access to other exhibitions

Along with the Klimt exhibit, which lasts about an hour from start to finish, ticket holders will have access to a number of other digital experiences, including one featuring works by Fredensreich Hundertwasser, another Austrian artist who claimed Klimt as an inspiration. Also on deck: "5 Movements," an interdisciplinary presentation that, according to an official press release, "will guide visitors to explore space and time through a performer's five different types of body movements." 

You’ll likely, particularly delight in a show about the history and design of the very space you’ll be visiting, the landmark Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, which was actually one of the first skyscrapers to be built in the Beaux-Arts style. 

Hall des Lumières
Photograph: Mark Zhelezoglo for Hall des Lumières
Hall des Lumières
Photograph: Mark Zhelezoglo for Hall des Lumières

3. You’ll get to walk inside the bank’s original vault!

The 33,000-square-foot space is a beautiful feast for the senses: Culturespaces, the firm behind some of the most exciting cultural experiences across the globe, has renovated the hall in its entirety—but some elements of the original landmark at 49 Chambers Street still remain, including the former teller hall and bank vault.

Hall des Lumières
Photograph: Mark Zhelezoglo for Hall des Lumières

Good news: you'll actually get to walk through the vault, which has been turned into an infinity room worthy of its own exhibit dubbed "Recording Entropia." According to a press release, the contemporary presentation will explore the "vast possibilities of the human mind."

We’ve been there and can say that a mere glance at the vault (and the super cool door at its entrance!) is worthy of a trip downtown.

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