Futurist Projects Limited has completed the design, supply, and installation of a complete technical infrastructure at the newly refurbished Cadogan Hall in Chelsea, London. The elegant Grade I listed former Christian Scientist Church is now transformed into a cutting-edge modern concert hall, exhibition, and arts venue. It will also be home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, ending 60 years of itinerancy.

Michel Lister coordinated and managed the project for Futurist, which involved exterior and interior lighting, AV and AMX installation, and sound design. "The chance of working with a client with the vision, foresight and willingness to invest in the latest cutting edge ideas was exceptional" he explains.

Keen to push the technical envelope, Futurist’s associate consultant Richard Northwood wanted to take a lateral approach, and utilize technologies and techniques common to other areas of the entertainment industry–like theme parks and concert touring. This included an AMX touchscreen system for building control and scheduling.

Michael Lister chose top quality sound lighting and AV brands throughout. "We were trusted implicitly to specify equipment as appropriate, so we chose industry standard brands like Avolites, ETC, Clay Paky, Meyer, Yamaha, etc."

Science of Lighting

Since Cadogan Hall program would emphasize the classical, the auditorium effects lighting needed to be toppy and shadow free, but also flexible for other types of events.

Futurist specified Clay Paky Stage Profile SV 1200W moving heads, fitted into bespoke recessed cavities in the ceiling to satisfy the stipulations for a subtle and unobtrusive production installation. Of the lighting fixtures auditioned, they were the quietest. There are also 20 ETC Source Four® 15/30º profiles in the hall.

All fixtures are routed via XTBA DMX Smart Splitter units to the Avolites Diamond 4 Vision control console. Avolites was picked for it’s reliability, dynamics, ease of use and industry standard status, and because it was likely to be familiar to visiting LDs. Dimming is via three Concert specification 48-way ETC Sensor dimmer racks, distributed around the building.

Cadogan Hall is exterior lit with 20 James Thomas PixelPAR 90(A)s, illuminating the arches and tower in the first phase of a two-part architectural installation. The fixtures are attached discreetly to the walls. The design brief insisted that the lights be imperceptible and "virtually invisible" to passers-by and local residents.

Cadogan Hall operating board

AV and AMX Control for Flexibility

As a multi-purpose space, Cadogan Hall is available for hire for functions, meetings, conferences, and exhibitions, etc. The AV installation includes a selection of 30" and 40" NEC LCD screens, and multiple Samsung TV/LCD 17 inch units for back-of-house displays, each capable of receiving any one of 32 video sources, linked via an Autopatch matrix switcher.

Three remote Panasonic cameras cover the auditorium and work via the AMX touchscreen controller, a control feature specially developed to help the venue achieve quick and easy overlaying of video paging, titling, and graphics if desired.

A Christie DLP 9000 lumen projector is stationed FOH in the auditorium, and there’s a massive Harkness Hall electric roll-down screen for cinematic events or large scale projections.

Futurist came up with AMX as an intuitive, lateral technical control solution for Cadogan Hall, aimed to making a complex installation a fuss free operation for the venue’s full time staff. The AMX takes care of the house lights, curtains, screen patching, low level lighting, cameras, audio, video sources and completely integrates all the technical elements in a comprehensible control surface. All functions can be scheduled in advanced or operated live.

Futurist worked closely with building owners and developers The Cadogan Estate, architects Paul Davis & Partners, and main building contractors Walter Lily & Co.