Basel | The Frozen Time Installation by DGT Architects

Place: Basel, Switzerland
Client: CITIZEN HOLDINGS CO LTD Location: Baselworld - Basel, 2013
Design project: DGT
Technical direction: Luftzug, Amsterdam
Producer: ADK, Tokyo
Project coordination: Pacteam, Lausanne
Construction: Hypsos, Soesterberg
Text and images courtesy of dorell.ghotmeh.tane / architects - Paris / France


Copyright DGT Architects – Photo Takuji Shimmura

Frozen time – Project report: text by DGT Architects, Paris

Frozen Time is an installation realized for the Japanese watchmaker CITIZEN at BaselWord, the largest watch and jewelry exposition in the world.
In 2013, the main hall of the Fair was completely renovated. Therefore, the brands took advantage of renovating their stands and anticipate their vision for the following 4 years.
Citizen acted differently: instead of simply proposing a new booth to its visitors, Citizen decided to reserve a part of its space for a designer so that he could realize an art installation. Thus, every year, the invited designer will make the Citizen space evolve and express the “Challenging Spirit” of the brand.
DGT was commissioned for the first installation. First of all, a visit to the Citizen factory in Japan has revealed an incredible manufacturing process: a million manual operations to build up a so small universe. At the same time, DGT reasoned about what “time” is: scientifically, historically, mechanically, ethnographically, etc.  Tsuyoshi Tane eventually conceived the idea that ‘Time is Light and Light is Time’.



copyright DGT architects – Photo Takuji Shimmura


general plan, copyright DGT architects

50,000 metal plates were suspended to 3,000 wires. Every plate was precisely positioned along the wire so to respect a geometrical composition formed by 30 different configurations. The on-site assembling turned out to be of incredible complexity.
4 new models of watches were placed at the center of the installation so to make the visitors an active element of the exhibition.
Lighting was realized through 178 LED projectors fastened to the ceiling and 60 spotlights placed on the ground to create an environment where the notion of time/light was constantly changing and there was “no instant equal to another”.


phases of realization, copyright DGT Architects

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