Lighting designer Giles Mayall specified an Avolites Pearl 2004 console to control lighting in The Ice House, a promotional ice dwelling constructed by ice artists The Ice Box, for the Dutch-German IMG Diba Bank. Production company Fact & Fiction handled The Ice House project in Germany. The structure was used to highlight the bank’s mortgage products and services at trade shows including their Ideal Home Show.
Mayall was working for UK-based JVC Events, who take care of the technical and logistical needs of all of the Ice Box’s installations.
Mayall’s task was to architecturally light the 100 sq.m, single-story building measuring 18m x 6m x 3.7m, inside and out, in the client’s blue and green corporate colors.
It was an obvious choice to use LEDs, as their low heat emissions make them ideal for illuminating the ice without melting it. Mayall and JVC’s Vince Roper researched the effects different LED fixtures had on ice and how they reacted to freezing environments, before specifying 24 James Thomas PixelLine 1044 battens and 20 Pulsar ChromaFlood 2000s for the project. These were supplemented with a small number of fluorescent tubes.
When it came to choosing a console, “the Pearl was ideal,” says Mayall. He wanted something robust and reliable that could be left to run the show without needing constant attention. Avolites’ most popular volume console has also been operated in all extremes of weather. The Pearl can also restart where it left off in the event of power loss, which helps in severe environmental conditions.
The Pearl was located in the ‘Dog House’ at the back of the Ice House, along with the dimmers. In addition to the static color looks and scenes illuminating the ice, Mayall also programmed and ran a few animation chases off the Pearl, the main one being a blue and green “breathing” sequence, which made the house feel alive.