Motion House

Type: Theatre Stage Lighting, Audio and Video Installation


We were contracted by AC Special Projects Ltd to undertake the system engineering, installation and programming of the entertainment systems for Motion House in the new Vitsoe building.

Motion House are an inspiring and powerful dance-circus performance group using circus and acrobatic skills alongside digital imagery to create breath-taking shows. They recently moved into part of a new building commissioned by Vitsoe who manufacture stunning sustainable furniture based on the original designs by Dieter Rams. The new building is based on timber framing but on a grand scale built with beech laminate-veneer in modular form spanning 135m in length by 25m wide and 6m high. As with their products sustainability was high on the agenda, the building is naturally ventilated, naturally lit during the day and solar panels generating their own electricity. It was a truly ore inspiring elegant building and a privilege to work in.

Motion House uses three of the modular timber frame bays as their rehearsal space. The system consists of two flown fixed trusses and two motorised truss sections to rig lighting fixtures, audio and video equipment. We were set the challenge to work with the building owner to install the fixed wiring infrastructure, however strict restrictions were imposed on what was acceptable in this elegant building. No services could be attached to the south- facing sloping roof and any visual components had to be installed above the main timber beam line in order to maintain the elegant clean look of the building from the north end. This was a challenge we believed in and enjoyed. Special order cables in grey and white were purchased, cables were installed in existing cable management where possible often taking extra long routes, cables were installed in vertical shadow gaps and the inside of ‘I’ beam flanges to hide as much as possible to maintain the aesthetics in the building. In order to keep the cables tidy on the trussing we even installed cable basket mounted on the upper tube using half couplers giving a very neat and tidy solution.

The electrical installation works consisted of numerous direct power circuits to 16amp socket outlets with individual RCD protection using Prysmian FP200 cable, a 230volt supply to the AV rack and a three phase supply to the rigging controller. Around the venue we installed DMX tie lines, CAT6A data tie lines mainly for HDBaseT video and audio tie lines all to custom socket boxes finished in grey. For the motorized section of the trussing rig we installed a Scan-Rig flip-flop cable guide CAB-10.

The audio and control equipment was populated and wired into a 19inch equipment rack along with the site wiring. The lighting systems consisted of ProLights Stark 400CC moving wash lights, Eclipse FC Profiles, Studio COB FC Pars all controlled from a Pharos touch panel via a Luminex Gigacore 26i network switch and Ethernet DMX8 sACN to DMX converter. The audio system consisted of DAD Touring 208 active speakers, Allen & Heath GR4 rack mount mixer and Denon media player. The entire rehearsal space was surrounded by a Triple EEE two-way curtain track which required meticulous engineering to hide the natural deflection in the timber beams in order to look visually correct but also for the black drapes to be all the same drop length.

The installation was time consuming but went very smoothly especially with the aid of two MEWP’s making working at height easier and safer. In addition the building provided a clean pleasant working environment with delicious meals and home made cake provided by Vitsoe. Hopefully the team did not get used to this kind of treatment!

With the deadline looming the lanterns and speakers were rigged, the audio system setup and the huge drapes hung and slowly the show came together. An evening was spent with the client programming the Pharos control panel with preset scenes for daily rehearsal use and we left feeling proud of our achievements.