J&C Joel has supplied and installed nineteen 200 KG SWL electric Pilewind winches into the overstage area of the main auditorium within the brand new Solstice Arts Centre in Navan, County Meath, Ireland.

This Pilewind system is designed for the quick and easy rigging and de-rigging of lighting, audio and AV equipment, scenery items and props.

Solstice, the result of a 13.5 million Euro project, is owned and operated by Meath County Council. It is designed by Shelly McNamara of award-winning Grafton Architects and the space includes a 320-seat theatre, three visual-arts areas and a café/bar. It’s the county’s first major cultural centre and is heralded a glowing symbol for the belief, pride, and commitment to cultural and artistic life in Meath. Solstice is already being hailed as one of the finest arts centre outside Dublin.

J&C Joel was invited to tender for supplying the over-stage lifting system through theatre consultant Barry McKinney, who collaborated closely with J&C Joel’s director James Wheelwright leader of J&C Joel’s design and installation team.

Each Pilewind winch is designed to raise and lower a 12m long ladder framed suspension bar at a single speed and includes multi-grooved ball-raced pulleys, steel core suspension cables, and standard and back up limit switches to control the distance of travel.

Complimenting the electric Pilewind system, J&C Joel has also supplied and installed a complete set of durable stage drapes, consisting of blue velour lined main curtains and house border, on-stage black wool serge curtains, including borders, legs and tabs. The curtains are complimented with a 12x 6m drop white seamless cyc.

The Pilewind system is controlled via a wall-mounted, illuminated, push button panel, with the ability to select up to five units to run simultaneously.

Upstage, there’s also an additional manual/electric drill operated Pilewind that lifts a 12m wide black backdrop which when required is lowered to create a Rearstage crossover

The Pilewind was specified by the theatre consultants as a flexible, user-friendly solution for easy rigging and de-rigging from the stage floor. Barry McKinney comments, “We were very happy that J&C Joel were the successful tenderer for this installation because of their vast knowledge and experience in the field. They delivered an excellent bespoke rigging system and managed to coordinate the design and installation of their work in a flexible and professional manner".

For J&C Joel, James Wheelwright comments, “This style of job is within our capability as everything we have used and installed had been designed and manufactured in-house – from the pilewinds to the curtains – and is bespoke for this venue”.