The heritage listed Arts Centre Melbourne is the largest and busiest performing arts complex in the southern hemisphere
Australia - The AUD$135.8m redevelopment of Hamer Hall was part of a larger revitalisation project for Arts Centre Melbourne and the first step in the Southbank Cultural Precinct Redevelopment plan. The project was overseen by theatre consultants Schuler Shook, and designed by architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall.

The heritage listed Arts Centre Melbourne is the largest and busiest performing arts complex in the southern hemisphere; Hamer Hall is the concert hall within the centre. Home to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Hamer Hall also hosts a wide variety of performance events throughout the year, from theatre to rock and roll.

Jands supplied much of the venue's lighting including 20 Vari-Lite VLX's, 28 ETC Desire D40 Vivid LED Pars, and over 50 ETC Source Fours.

Adrian Sterritt, head of lighting at the Melbourne venue, says his team chose the VLX Wash luminaires following a shoot-out between the Vari-Lite fixtures and other brands.

"We were looking for a number of aspects from the lighting fixtures; speed, quality of light, operation modes," says Sterritt. "The VLX Wash zoom was better, its quality of light was similar to what we were used to, and in terms of colours we wanted to produce, it was more suited to our desired colour palette. There was also an environmental aspect to the project so 'green' products were favourable."

One of the key decision drivers for the Hamer Hall technical team when choosing lighting fixtures for their new venue was the ability of the VLX Wash to colour match with conventional luminaires as Sterritt reports, "Incoming LD's love them. They have a lot of punch, especially with the saturated LED colours, however they also produce the more subtle pastel hues that we require in a theatre environment."

The ETC Desire D40 Vivid LED Pars were chosen primarily for their colour range which according to Adrian more suits the theatre environment palette.

"It's a bit more subtle with the pastel shades," he added. "You can get a wider range of colours from them than your standard RGB fixtures which we felt were a bit too rock'n'roll. They're good although we don't use them all the time - when we go into full rock'n'roll mode we just use the VLX's. For the more subtle work they're great."

The ETC Source Fours supplemented the stock already owned by the Arts Centre.

"The ETC Source Four is a standard tool in performance and architectural use across the globe," remarked Sterritt. "They have a wide range of useful accessories and lenses plus they are very reliable."

Ten Chroma-Q Color Force 72 LED battens were installed to ensure smooth and even coverage across large areas. With their smooth washing effect, even colour mixing, and lack of hotspots, the Chroma-Q Color Force 72 LED battens are ideal for multiple types of applications, ranging from subtle hues for theatre and opera lighting to vibrant effects for live events.

(Jim Evans)

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