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Project information

Projet Lumière(s)

Started in 2017, Projet Lumière(s) aims at expanding the Institut français's programme through three steps: the refurbishment of the reception space, the creation of a second cinema, for which funding is complete. The last step is to support ambitious elements of programming over the next 2 years.


Charity information: The Friends of The French Institute

The Friends of The French Institute logo
  • Need


    In our daily mission, we care about finding the best ways to welcome and bring together all kinds of people: families, elders, students, movie stars, emerging artists, primary French learners, audiences with reduced mobility, high level speakers…

    This requires flexibility and diversity in our programme.

    Major obstacles to the diversification of the Institut’s offer are the remaining obsolescence of key spaces to welcome the public and also lacking funds to make our projects go further.


    Projet Lumière(s) spands over two years, from 2017 to 2019 with three interrelated goals:

    The first one, achieved last April, was the refurbishing of our Salons to welcome new events.

    The second one is the construction of a 34 seat cinema in the Petite Salle that will be launched this December.

    Currently the last step of this project is to fund original events, debates, festivals and to offer a more diverse programme and expand our activities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Expanding our array of activities


    » Signage modernisation: in the Foyer and public spaces of the Institut to help visitors find their way in our revamped premises.
    » South Ken Kids Festival: this year we have added the SK+ project to our children’s literature festival to reach out to more schools of Greater London.
    » The Night of Ideas: in January 2019, a night of debates with eminent science, philosophy and arts figures around the theme Facing Our Time.
    » Beyond Words Festival: a major literary rendez-vous for contemporary French and British authors, promoting French literature throughout the UK.

    What success will look like

    > Increase in frequentation (10,000 more visitors per year)
    > General diversification of the public

    Aim 2

    The creation of a new 34-seats cinema (ongoing)


    » As we have collected sufficient funds for this project, the construction works for the second cinema will start shortly.
    » Construction works: installation of seats, a screen, a sound system and lights and access for people with impaired mobility.

    What success will look like

    > 700 new screenings per year
    > Betterment of the pricing policy (e.g. a new senior fare)
    > Appealing to a young and creative audience
    > Unique and competitive offer

    Aim 3

    The renovation of the reception space “Les Salons” (achieved)


    » Refurbishment: new furniture, a kitchen fit for catering, restoration of the Pleyel Piano, new sound system, improved security and accessibility.
    » Construction works: the fitting of a parquet floor and the renovation of the large Art Deco windows.

    What success will look like

    Our renovated Salons now offer an elegant setting for concerts, cocktail receptions, interviews and debates.
    Thank you to all our generous donors who helped us achieve this goal!

  • Impact


    > More encounters between artists and the public

    > A more socially diverse audience

    > Creation of a classical music offering with an emphasis on accessibility and learning

    > A better circulation within our spaces (thus favouring the discovery of our other activities)

    > After two years, financial capacity to keep funding the new programme thanks to the cinema’s revenue, and occasional privatisation of the Salons and cinema room


    We will achieve this project step-by-step by 2019, securing funding before launching each phase of the works. Risks of falling behind schedule are minimal due to the advancement of the campaign and this progressive approach.


    Donors to this project will receive an annual report on the project detailing past acheivements, ongoing and forthcoming activities, as well as any possible changes that have been made to the project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £1,140,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £175,000 Cultural Activities A multitude of new artistic genres, opportunities for learning and socialisation
      £440,000 Les Salons Refurbishing the reception rooms, 'Les Salons' (achieved)
      £525,000 Ciné Lumière II Creating a brand new boutique cinema room (ongoing)
  • Background


    Created in 1910, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni is hosted by a unique Art Deco building. It is located in South Kensington, just a breath away from the Natural History Museum and the V&A.

    Thanks to previous campaigns, the Institut’s building is home to a renovated media library, a children’s library, and a 230 seats cinema room, which already attracts 56,000 spectators per year, and hosts numerous festivals.

    The Institut français totalises 200,000 visitors, of which 50% are British.


    Projet Lumière(s) aims at:

    1) Continuing the Institut’s successful efforts to open its doors to a younger audience, including children and students attending underpriviledged schools.

    2) Attracting audiences with niche or specific interests, both through the more diverse programme, and by enabling social gatherings at the Institut with club meetings, workshops, networking events and debates.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Institut français exists for anyone who is…

    -a music lover, a book worm, a movie buff or a foodie

    -trying to brush up on their French but doesn’t fancy crossing the Channel every other Saturday

    -looking for a quiet spot to study or a new adventure

    -yearning to escape in a capsule made of tales, films and music from elsewhere

    Now more than ever, we stand for upkeeping an inclusive space where an open dialogue between cultures lives on.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mr Jean-Pierre Jouyet

    French Ambassador to the United Kingdom

    Mrs Claudine Ripert-Landler

    Cultural Counselor and Director of the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni

    Mr Marc Mourre

    Chairman of 'The Friends of the French Institute' Trust

    Mrs Caroline Drevait

    Head of Development at the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni

I am delighted to support the Institut français du Royaume-Uni as Patron of the Projet Lumière(s). It's a great initiative - fostering further cross-cultural exchange between France and the UK.

Lambert Wilson - French actor, singer and Patron of Projet Lumière(s)