AURA Invalides, a Monumental Experience Under the Dome at Les Invalides in Paris

AURA Invalides, a Monumental Experience Under the Dome at Les Invalides in Paris

Moment Factory



AURA Invalides marks a new stage in Moment Factory’s history as a multidisciplinary studio dedicated to crafting innovative multimedia experiences through bold creativity and high-tech prowess. This immersive 50-minute experience combines video mapping, lighting, special effects, orchestral music, and sound design to celebrate the architectural and historical heritage of one of Paris’s most iconic monuments: Dôme des Invalides.

The project was initiated in 2019 by cultural operator Cultival, which was then seeking innovative cultural and tourism offerings designed to create new sustainable attractions in France. Captivated by the AURA experience at Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal, and Moment Factory’s peerless creativity and ability to meet exacting standards, Cultival asked the multimedia studio to create the very first AURA experience in France. Les Invalides, whose gilded dome has brightened the Paris skyline for centuries, was the natural choice. To achieve this project, Cultival also turned to its longstanding partner, Musée de l’Armée – Hôtel national des Invalides.

AURA Invalides, a monumental and dazzling experience

As night falls, Dôme des Invalides comes alive with the combined magic of light, orchestral music, and video- mapping, revealing its stately beauty and rich heritage. Over a 50-minute span, visitors are invited to partake in a sensory nighttime exploration. Guided by light, they wander through Dôme des Invalides and its six chapels, where the previously unseen gradually comes into view.


AURA Invalides is designed to stimulate the imagination of audiences of all ages. As a result, visitors are swept away by moments of pure wonder, fostering a deep and unique connection between public and place – and among the visitors themselves.

High-tech prowess showcasing an exceptional heritage site

Dôme des Invalides provides one of the most ambitious projection surfaces that Moment Factory has ever had the privilege to work with. The technical challenge was enormous. At more than 90 metres high, the building is topped by a dome whose smallest diameter is 30 metres. In all, more than 45 million pixels were mapped onto a 3,500-square-metre surface.

One of the building’s distinctive features is a reverberation time that spans nearly 10 seconds, a result of its architectural configuration. To ensure that AURA Invalides visitors can fully experience the orchestral score, the team employed a sound-spatializing technique that involves localizing sound with utmost precision. As a result, visitors can clearly perceive where the sound emanates from. The experience combines sound and image to create a 360-degree immersion effect, making visitors feel as if they are fully immersed in the show.


A creative process that celebrates a historic monument

The team’s artistic preference was to reveal the spirit of the place, comprising its architectural beauty, the memory with which it resonates, and the symbolism it conveys. Accordingly, each scene in the experience is based on existing documents. After extensive historical research, the creative team worked closely with chief curators at Musée de l’Armée to ensure that the design was historically accurate.

AURA Invalides seeks to reveal and share, rather than to tell. While the creative team drew its narrative inspiration from the site’s diverse history, it created an immersive world designed to spark visitors’ imagination. By instilling a sense of wonder, the intangible and invisible are revealed.

A monumental experience in three movements

The AURA Invalides experience comprises three movements, inviting visitors to discover three fundamental aspects of Dôme des Invalides: construction (movement I), memory (movement II), and power to inspire (movement III).


An orchestral score, specifically composed to enhance the experience

The music was created by Montreal studio Troublemakers, in collaboration with Moment Factory’s creative teams. The score was devised and composed around the three movements that punctuate the AURA Invalides experience, with each piece featuring a distinct musical colour to highlight the contrasts that characterize the monument. The dome’s unusual acoustics, with almost 10 seconds of reverberation, dictated this original creation from start to finish.

The instrumentation is a blend of orchestra, synthesizers, percussion, drums, machines, and the voices of more than 55 musicians. As for the composition itself, of contemporary style for the most part, it targets a modern orchestral sound, with a few references to nineteenth-century French music.

Moment Factory: Creating immersive experiences for more than 20 years

Over the years, through increasingly ambitious projects, Moment Factory has become an international standard-setter in the creation of immersive experiences that enable heritage sites to shine, thereby diversifying their initial offer and attracting new audiences.

Whether at Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims in France, and now Dôme des Invalides, Moment Factory uses the power of storytelling and cutting-edge technology to create a spirit of collective wonder, creating intimate and unique bonds between the audience and the site.





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