Robe Has The Power At The Energiehuis Dordrecht

It’s been nearly a year since over 80 Robe lighting fixtures were supplied and installed at the charismatic Energiehuis, a former power station at the confluence of the Wantij and Beneden Merwede Rivers on the outskirts of Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Energiehuis was transformed into a new multi-venue cultural centre by Jonkman Klinkhamer Architects - a stylish and cool integration of majestic civil engineering with contemporary industrial design and modern performance facilities offering the very highest production values.

The once thriving power station was closed in the 1970s and lay derelict and neglected before the three year regeneration plan commenced in 2010. The Energiehuis project was instigated and driven by Dordrecht Town Council and the performance elements developed in conjunction with theatre consultants, PB Theateradviseurs, who produced the technical specs in conjunction with Pieter Kop, Technical Manager for Bibelot, which then went out to tender.

Robe moving lights were central to the proposal put forward by Controllux, based near Amsterdam, who won the tender to supply and install stage lighting, dimming, rigging and a data network for the project’s five main spaces – which all have varying capacities.

Energiehuis’s various venues are operated and run by several different organisations, the main ones being Bibelot and ToBe, who between them stage an eclectic programme of shows and events that include all types of live music, theatre, dance productions and creative workshops, etc. Their inclusive schedules also embrace educational elements aimed at encouraging and developing new and emerging talent across all performance disciplines and genres.

All the spaces have flexible seating options which include standing and the lighting rigs had to be equally as adaptable.

Pieter Kop is delighted with the performance of the Robes – a mix of LEDWash 300s, 600E Spots and Washes – all from Robe’s ROBIN range – plus some LEDForce PARs.

He had used Robe fixtures before so was aware of the brand and some of the product range. Having been hands on with them constantly for a year, he now says, “Robe offers a great price for the amount of features, and a good range of products to use in different sized venues and spaces. I believe it is absolutely THE top moving light brand at the moment”.

Controllux’s Kuno van Velzen, their Project Manager for Energiehuis, explains that the tender was based on offering the most flexible and elegant lighting solutions and facilities for the budget.  “Having Robe moving lights on the spec was a major  aspect that helped enable us to offer great value and cutting-edge technology. Everyone lighting a show, whatever the size or style, will have all the options they need”.

Moving lights for the 800 capacity Main Stage – on the fourth floor of the building’s former turbine hall - are 12 each of Robe’s ROBIN 600E Spots and Washes together with 16 each of the ROBIN 300E Spot and Wash fixtures. These were picked for their ‘smaller-brighter-lighter’ properties which are at the core of Robe’s current R ‘n’ D strategy.

They also – ironically – save quite a bit of energy, although available power is not an issue in the venue!

For the Ketel 1 and Ketel 2 rooms primarily used by ToBe, ten Robe ROBIN LEDWash 300s and ten LEDForce 18 LED PARs have been supplied – which can be easily moved and changed around as needed.

In the Machine 3 (M3) venue on the third floor, which is operated by the Kunstmin theatre amongst others, there are another 12 LEDWash 300s plus another 12 again for the 300 capacity Power Stage on the first floor.

Jonathan Siegmund, a third year student studying Stage & Event Technology in Rotterdam, has been doing a six month internship at Energiehuis where his steep learning curve has included using the Robes, mainly on the Power Stage, which he has really enjoyed. “Robe is an excellent brand – very reliable, lots of options for being creative and lights here get worked extremely hard,” he confirms.

Controllux supplied the Robe fixtures together with an extensive amount of generic theatre lightsources.

Van Velzen concludes, “It was a very special project – a fantastic conversion which retains all the character and industrial heritage of the building and makes great use of the space.  Once a powerhouse for the local community and commercial activities, now the energy will be continued through all the new creativity and excitement emanating from the Energiehuis”.

Photo - Louise Stickland

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