GDS Specials provide retro-fit solution for Royal Festival Hall Southbank Centre
Multi-Award winning manufacturer GDS were recently commissioned to develop a flexible lighting solution in a disused area of the Southbank.As part of the Festival of Britain anniversary celebrations, GDS were approached by Roger Hennigan Technical Manager at The Southbank Centre, to assist with the redevelopment of disused outside area of the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof. The space was to be part of the centres redevelopment project, with plans to build a garden and green event space for the festival celebrations.
The Royal Festival Hall opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain and is at the heart of the Southbank Centre. The RFH welcomes orchestras, operas and contemporary music from around the world. The building is home to the Clore Ballroom, Saison Poetry Library, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery. From April – September 2011, the Southbank Centre site was transformed for the Festival of Britain 60th Anniversary celebrations, celebrating British talent and creativity with the biggest cross-arts festival South Bank had seen since the original festival in 1951.
After completing a site survey and taking into consideration the long and difficult cable routes on site, coupled with the incredibly solid 1960’s concrete, The GDS Specials team, in consultation with Roger Hennigan developed a solution utilising the existing original infrastructure. The decision was made to remove the compact fluorescent light fittings from the existing fixtures, refurbish the fittings where necessary and install an LED based solution. The GDS Specials team were able to design a bespoke solution that utilised the existing 1950’s fittings and cables causing minimal impact to the fabric of the building, whilst implementing a 21st century wireless remote control RGB Lighting solution.
The GDS Specials team developed a lighting module that could be used in various formats to fit both of the two types of bulkhead fitting already installed at the centre. The decision was taken to make the LED lighting modules RGB and give them individual addresses to ensure the fitting were truly flexible. The fittings are controlled via W-DMX, giving Roger and his team control of the entire area and allowing him to program colour fades, sweeps and complete lighting states from the building control system.
Roger Hennigan – Technical Manager, Southbank Centre commented: -
“It was great to work with the GDS team, they immediately understood the brief and quickly developed a practical and flexible solution that now looks great and is very versatile, this was achieved with minimal impact to the fabric of the building and has made long term energy and maintenance savings”.
GDS Specials Team designed, delivered and installed a modular LED panel, which allowed it to retro fit the existing and original light fittings at the Southbank Centre. The installation included, 24 large rectangular units, each with 5 LED panels, 18 x smaller rectangular units, each with 2 LED panels and 18 x Circular units, each with 2 LED panels. Each individual unit incorporated a W-DMX wireless DMX receiver and a custom build LED driver / controller. The panels were designed to retro fit into the building’s existing and original light fixtures.