Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, Performing Arts/Media Facilities Planning and Design, announce the completion of their work as theatre consultants and sound, video and communications (SVC) consultants on the major renovation of The Historic Salt Lake Tabernacle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This extraordinary structure, which is listed in the National Historic Register, was first built in 1867 and has had only one other significant renovation in its 140-year existence. The facility is the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the longest continuously running radio program, “Music and The Spoken Word”.

The renovation was first initiated to meet current seismic standards for earthquakes in the Salt Lake City region; however, the Church leaders immediately recognized this opportunity to bring the antiquated building systems up to current standards as well. The most critical aspect of the project was to incorporate 21st century theatrical systems into the space with minimal visual impact to the existing historical building structure. The interior of the Tabernacle was to remain “as it has always been” and these theatrical systems, nearly invisible to the audience, were deemed critical in supporting the Tabernacle’s unique performance requirements.

Under this very clear directive, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander collaborated with the key individuals and groups representing the Owner and the architectural firm of FFKR on the development and upgrading of technically advanced stage machinery including theatrical lighting, stage lifts, rigging, automation and sound, video and communications systems. A newly added control booth and reconfigured seating provide the only two major visible clues to the dramatic changes in the hall.

The Tabernacle was officially re-dedicated March 31, 2007.

Space Usage
The Tabernacle was first built as the home LDS General Conference, a meeting open to the entire Church membership. Over the years the use of the space has increased dramatically. It is now the venue for over 500 events annually and has become the permanent home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander was asked to design the theatrical infrastructure for four major event types: general conference, stake conference, large orchestra, choir and reduced size orchestra performances. In each case the facility must appear as if “the current configuration in use is the only configuration”. The different uses of the space were each given equal weight and therefore the space is able to be appropriately configured for each.

The ability to remove, add or exchange architectural elements efficiently, such as rostrum seating, is critical to the venue’s success. The change over is enabled by direct access to the lower level storage areas by means of an integrated stage lift system.

Rigging And Automation Control
The rigging and automation system is designed to support the building transformation from one configuration to the next. Ease of transformation is essential to properly support the range of functions which are held in the building.

Stages lifts and modular staging components are the key building blocks of the stage area and by manipulation of these elements it is possible to change from one configuration to the next in less than 24 hours.

Lighting Control
The theatrical lighting system is designed to support a variety of Church functions by suitably lighting them for both daily use and for broadcast purposes. The system provides the user with the most advanced and expandable technology available while paying attention to the historic quality of the architecture by providing fully integrated solutions for both fixed and portable equipment within the room.

A full complement of conventional, automated theatrical lighting fixtures, automated accessories and LED technology provide the user with the ability to work within a repertory plot supporting the multiple configurations and broadcast use. Nearly all of the fixtures, cables and accessories are custom white to lessen the visual impact to the room architecture.

Broadcast and presentation lighting is achieved by use of a series of custom designed truss elements that are flown from an automated winch system concealed within the ceiling and roof structure.

Additional concealed theatrical lighting positions are integrated into the side balcony fascias.

The original concept of lighting the dome portion of the ceiling surrounding the organ was modernized by installing a digitally controlled LED lighting array, yielding over 60,000 color variations.

Video And Communication Systems
The production video and communications system is designed to assist and enhance both sacred service and secular productions in addition to general Church activities, uniting cutting edge technology with the message and grandeur of the Tabernacle.

Within the Tabernacle itself, a video projection system has been added to provide advanced multimedia presentation capabilities to presenters and attendees. Using video source equipment, including DVD, HD cameras, and computer based media, the “Technical Operations Center” can distribute these video signals in real time to digital video projectors within the space. Twin motorized front projection screens mounted in the floor on either side of the organ allow the multimedia information to stand alone, or integrate with live action, while retracting out of view when not in use, preserving the architectural beauty of the celebrated Tabernacle.

A flexible and expandable digital matrix intercom system provides necessary fullduplex communication throughout the facility, through the use of master base stations, remote “belt-pack” units, and wireless headsets. The system also provides back-of-house paging, performance audio feed, and a “call-light” signal system fully integrated and actuated by the digital matrix. Communication to production personnel is also provided by a closed-circuit television system, allowing distribution and control of pan/tilt/zoom cameras to the various technical operation positions within the facility.

In response to the Church’s video and broadcast engineers, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander designed a state of the art video broadcast system, which provides high-definition video production capabilities from both manned and robotic cameras. These signals can be sent out for broadcast, stored for archival purposes, or integrated into the CCTV distribution network and digital video projection system, allowing full HD monitoring within the Tabernacle, rostrum, rehearsal rooms, and back-of-house support areas. Additionally, custom panels and wiring infrastructure were designed, integrating sound, video, communications, lighting, stage machinery and master control systems. This provides a robust, flexible infrastructure to serve the varied production needs of the Tabernacle today, while allowing space and flexibility for the future.

The seating layout is a modified version of the original Tabernacle configuration with more generous row to row spacing which meets current codes

Start Date: Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, April 2004 Public Opening: March 31, 2007

For additional Live Design coverage on this project, see the June 2007 issue of Live Design or the online article.

Project Team

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander
S. Leonard Auerbach, ASTC, IALD, LC, Principal in Charge, Principal Designer
Tom Neville, ASTC, Principal, Project Manager, Theatrical Systems Designer
Paul Garrity, Principal, Video and Communications Systems
Dan Mei, Senior Associate, Video and Communication Systems Designer
Grace Gavin, Senior Associate, Theatrical Lighting System Designer

Other Team Members

Construction Manager
Jacobsen Construction

FFKR Architects

Reaveley Engineering

Kirkegaard & Associates

BNA Engineering/VBFA Engineers

Electrical Contractor
Cache Valley Electric Co

Equipment List

Theatrical Equipment
• 1 – Master Rigging Control Rack
• 1 - Nomad Control Desk
• 1 - Wireless Solo2
• 2 – Local control “Dalek’s”
• 4 - Motor Control Cabinets (MCC)
• 14 – 1000 lb winches - BT2-390s (trusses, speaker cluster, future use)
• 7 – 750 lb winches - BT2-290s (chandeliers)
• 3 – 500 lb winches - BT2-200’s (organ cleaning)
• 1 MCC for control of the stage lift
• 5 - custom trusses
• 2 - tension wire grids
• Over 180 sheaves of about 20 different types
• Over 65 load cells (approximately a load cell per line)

Stages Lifts and Modular Staging Components
• 1 – Main stage lift with approximate area of 370sq/ft.
• 1 – Secondary stage lift integrated into main stage lift with approximate area of 125 sq/ft.
• Staging component for a complete Rostrum configuration
• Staging components for a complete Stake conference configuration
• Staging components for a full orchestra configuration
• Staging components for a reduced orchestra configuration

Lighting Control
• (6) racks of ETC Sensor dimmers for theatrical
• (1) rack of ETC Sensor dimmers for the outdoor Nativity scene
• (1) rack of ETC Sensor dimmers for UPS emergency broadcast
• (2) racks of ETC Sensor + Sinewave dimmers for architectural house lighting
• Over 100 distribution receptacle devices located though out the room
• Ethernet data distribution system utilizing ETCnet
• Wireless network system
• 34 Ethernet tap locations
• ETC EOS 8K control console with Smartfade 2496 backup for theatrical lighting control
• ETC Unision Architectural system controls the house lighting

Theatrical Lighting Fixtures
• ETC source four ellipsoidal reflector spotlights
• ETC source four PAR MCM
• High End Systems Color Command
• Wybron Nexara
• Vari*lite VL3000
• Selador X7
• City Theatrical Autoyoke
• Ocean Optics Seachanger

Video And Communication Systems
• (5) Sony HDC-1500 High Definition Camera with Fuji
HA42x13.5ERD HDTV color zoom lens
• Sony HD camera control and remote control systems
• Aerohead Robotic Pan/Tilt head
• Vinten Vector 700 counterbalanced fluid camera head

CCTV And Video Monitoring
• Hitachi HVD30 3-CCD cameras with Fuji S20X6 lens
• Eagle PT-50 and PT-101 Pan/Tilt heads
• Eagle PT-CC and PT-TSC2 camera control panels
• Miranda A/D converters
• Leitch video distribution amps
• Evertz multivew processing system
• Sony High Definition Plasma displays
• Sony High Definition LCD displays
• Sharp LCD displays integrated into Rostrum portable railings
• Marshall V-R84P-SDI video monitoring for pulipt

Teleprompter Room System
• Sony BRC-H700 High Definition 3CCD camera
• Sony RM-BR300 Remote control unit
• Sony LCD broadcast camera monitors with multi-format engines
• Extron video signal processing
• Evertz 8010TM+2PS time code generators
• Dell Optiplex computer workstations

Broadcast Clock And Video Control
• Evertz 5600MSC Master Clock and signal pulse generator
• Evertz analog clocks with backlight option
• Evertz RS-422 to Fiber transceiver system
Technical Operations Center (TOC) Equipment Room
• Equipment Racks by GKM and Middle Atlantic
• Blonder Tongue MATV modulation system
• Tektronix Multi-format test signal/sync generator
• nVision Audio/Video routing system and control panels
• D-Link Ethernet Switches with SC Fiber Ports
• Fiber optic interfaces and panels by Corning and Black Box
• ADC digital video patch bays

Video Projection System
• (2) Christie Roadster S+16K 16,000 lumen video projector with zoom lens and HD/HD-SDI input options
• Vutec Retracta-Vu motorized projection screen

Video Playback And Control
• AMX NI-3000 AV control and distribution system, with touch-panel interfaces
• Extron video switching, routing, optical conversion systems
• Grass Valley Turbo IDDR Video Hard Disk recorder
• Sony SLVN750 videocassette recorder
• Sony DVPNS70H DVD player
• ATI Audio UB-400 UHF interface system
• Sony PVM9L2 CRT preview/program monitors
• D-Link Ethernet switch and fiber interface

Communication System
• Clear-Com Matrix Plus 3, Compact72 digital mainframe
• Clear-Com I-station, I-1470
• Clear-Com RCS-2000 8-channel analog switching matrix
• FOR-22 two-way radio interface
• PS-232 2-channel power supply
• HME DX200 wireless base stations and beltpacks

Cue Light System
• Clear-Com RLY-6 Relay control module
• Futuelec Opto-Isolated Relay Boards
• Custom fabricated fixed and portable cue light panels with amber and green indicator LEDs