The Queen's Hall is used for a variety of events ranging from classical and jazz concerts to literary events and conferences
Denmark - The eye-catching Black Diamond cultural centre in Copenhagen is a modern waterfront extension to the old Royal Danish Library building. Earning its quasi-official nickname from its polished black granite cladding and irregular angles, it houses a number of public facilities, centred round its top-lit atrium.

One of the main features of the centre is The Queen's Hall, a 600-seat auditorium used for a variety of events ranging from classical and jazz concerts to literary events and conferences. The hall's cutting-edge acoustic modelling allows for sound reinforcement that can be adjusted to the specific requirements of the type of music being played. This, in theory, made the venue ideal for the recording of classical music, but the noise generated by the existing lighting system rendered this impossible. In fact, the hall's authorities had, with little success, sought a noise-free, user-friendly house lighting solution since its opening in 1999. Lighting designer Hans Henrik Schmidt of Bico Professional was approached for help and as GDS's supplier in Denmark was confident that a solution to the problem could finally be found.

From the outset, the brief demanded that the light output, colour temperature and light expression of the new system remained exactly the same as the existing halogen installation. In addition, the varied programme in the hall meant that the lighting would need regular, sometimes daily re-programming and so had to be easy to operate.

A low energy system was an absolute requirement. The lights in The Queens Hall are on from early morning until late at night to enable visitors to The Royal Library to view the interior of the hall through a panoramic window. With this in mind, the aim was to significantly reduce energy consumption.

Over the course of just two working days the old fixtures were removed and more than 100 ArcSystem fixtures, wirelessly controlled through GDS's ArcMesh protocol, were installed on three-phase Eurotrack system. Given the large number of wireless fixtures, programming the system was potentially tricky but was also completed comfortably on schedule. In close communication with Bico Professional throughout the project, GDS developed bespoke tophats and wash reflectors in order that the new system complied with the requirement to accurately preserve the hall's aesthetic.

Hans Henrik Schmidt of Bico Professional explained the impact of ArcSystem: "For more than 10 years the customer and I had tried to find a lighting system that could meet both the technical and visual demands of The Queen's Hall and that search ended with ArcSystem. The customer is delighted with the outcome.

"The fact that the cost of the installation can be offset against huge savings in energy consumption adds even greater value. GDS offered great support and responded quickly and efficiently to customise some of the fixtures and offer assistance with any issues that arose. When we completed the work, we were able to congratulate each other on a job well done."

Matt Lloyd, managing director of GDS adds: "It's hugely gratifying that not only is ArcSystem fulfilling its brief at The Queen's Hall but that at a stroke, it overcame issues that had for so long prevented the venue from being used to its full potential."

(Jim Evans)

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