The new Artists Lounge at the Barbican Concert Hall in London
UK - Push The Button Ltd (PTB), the specialist electrical contractor for the entertainment industry, has recently completed the creation of a new backstage artists lounge for the Barbican Concert Hall in London.

The Concert Hall, part of the Barbican Centre, is the home of the London Symphony Orchestra, and also hosts a wide range of other concerts, productions and events. "The existing backstage area that greeted those performing at the Hall was quite cold and uninviting," comments PTB's Nick Ewins. "It needed some TLC to provide the welcoming and relaxing atmosphere that the great artists who play here deserve before and after a concert."

PTB was selected by the Barbican to explore how lighting might be able to help transform the existing space. The company presented a number of options to the Barbican Centre, aiming to create a versatile lighting system that could vary the intensity, mood and atmosphere of the lounge to suit different events and visitors.

The final system accomplishes just that, allowing the Barbican's staff to switch between a wide-range of pre-configured lighting looks that use colour and intensity to alter the feel of the room - all at the push of a button. When required, the system allows direct control of the individual elements of the room's lighting, allowing specific new looks to be created.

"We're really pleased with the new lighting system," comments the Barbican's Yvette Chin, "and we've already received some great feedback from artists using the space. The refurbished lounge and backstage area is a great improvement, and has been completely transformed by the lighting."

To achieve this, PTB used versatile, efficient LED lighting fixtures from Pulsar and GDS, together with a powerful yet easy-to-use control system from Pharos. "Our aim was to create a system that could dramatically alter the feel of the room, without the lighting system itself ever becoming obvious, and with the technology being unobtrusive enough that anyone can use it," explains PTB's Andy Phillips. The products and support from all of the companies we worked with let us do exactly that."

The entire system was installed and configured by PTB, working alongside the project's builders the Hutton Group.

"PTB was great to work with on the project," Chin adds, "their staff completely dedicated, helpful, flexible and personable - and we're delighted with the final result."

The Barbican refurbishment was just one of many projects PTB undertook during a busy 2013, the company also having completed digital signage projects for Birmingham Hippodrome and the Theatre Royal Plymouth, contributed to the re-opening of the Birmingham Rep, replaced the entire dimming system for ENO at the Coliseum and many more. 2014 is already proving to be just as busy.

(Jim Evans)

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