Arts Educational Schools appointed Otago Blue Ltd to provide a one-stop shop to design, supply, install and support the technical equipment to create a performance space within a dance studio. However, the first challenge was the room had to remain as a dance teaching and rehearsal space as well as a secondary purpose as a performance studio for the teaching of technical arts.
The brief we were given was to maintain headroom for dance rehearsals which was a challenge in a restricted space, create a performance studio feel to hide the school classroom look, to use the studio in different room configurations and to future-proof the lighting system.
With the aid of a structural engineer, we proposed to suspend and hide the internally wired lighting bars and rigging as close to the ceiling in between each set of concrete lintels to maintain maximum headroom for dance. We specified Triple EEE ‘Unitrack’ to supply the theatre curtain tracks due to their excellent build quality and smooth operation for all the four external walls with a further track to create masking or front stage curtains. Control and dimming were provided by Zero88 using the newly released Chilli Bypass racks, which as well as their standard features allow the user to select between dimmer or direct through power for LED and intelligent lighting fixtures. A distributed DMX infrastructure was also specified controlled by a Zero 88 Jester Lighting desk. Theatre lanterns included ETC Source 4 Junior Zoom Profiles and Selecon Acclaim Fresnels.
Disaster struck during the initial installation period as we quickly realised the ceiling was not going to support the proposed loads. Work stopped on site and alternative options were quickly proposed. The solution was a free-standing trussing structure within each of the three ceiling bays to maintain head height. We chose Trilite 200 triangular truss from Optikinetics for its strength to size/weight ratio and their speed and ease of manufacturing custom parts. To enhance the studio feel the trussing was finished in matte black. To maximize the room size careful site surveys were undertaken to avoid plumbing pipework, air conditioning and general building anomalies before the custom manufacture were ordered.
Due to the unexpected delay, we were given a short window of opportunity over Easter to complete the works. After holding our breath the trussing flew up without any hitches and the internally wired lighting bars were installed and connected to the dimmers. Following commissioning we finished ahead of schedule.
Following system hand over and staff training, the client was delighted with the outcome and commented that we have fulfilled their requirements and created a WOW factor for the room.