Designed by Bristol architect James Saunders in 1766, the auditorium at the Bristol Old Vic had remained largely unchanged for more than 200 years and was in need of a lighting system that could satisfy the needs of a working theatre while also respecting the strict planning restrictions English Heritage had placed on the Grade I listed building.
Collaborating with UK distributor Stage Electrics, an overhaul of the buildings entire lighting system was carried out, incorporating functional, safety and cosmetic lighting, focusing on light levels and aesthetics with minimal changes to the fabric of the building.
For this project, we bought forward the production of an MR16 version of our ArcSystem fitting which had been at the prototype stage, and ceiling-mounted over 150 wirelessly-controlled, 8-watt versions of the fixture at various beam angles throughout the lower ground, first and second floors and in the upper circle area.
To create a warm and welcoming feeling in the grand auditorium, ArcSystem Décor fittings, which run at 2700K, were fitted, alongside bespoke brass gallery front fittings and step lights, which feature a unique dimmable control and run below 10 watts.
Brass plated fittings for the upper circle and gallery fronts were specially produced with emergency lighting capability, and over 100 custom LED recessed step lights were used to provide illumination of the main auditorium steps, foyer, corridors and working areas.
The LEDs inside the auditorium were all colour matched to enhance the beautiful white interior and their bespoke design ensured there was no intrusion on the historic lath and plaster ceilings.
The LED fittings used provided a low energy solution that perfectly matched the colour temperature of the rest of the auditorium lighting, and to complement the historic nature of the building, all the LED wall fittings were brass plated and paired with glass light shades.