Lankenau Hospital Black-Tie Gala

Back to the 2011 Live Design Excellence Awards page

Lankenau Hospital has been defining medicine for 150 years. This Black-Tie Gala was a celebration of the extraordinary milestone of its 150th Anniversary as well as the kickoff of a $500 million transformation already underway and the rebranding of their name to the more apt Lankenau Medical Center.

The event was held at the historic Philadelphia Museum of Art. The museum, which dates to 1877, today houses over 225,000 works of art and is one of the largest museums in the United States.

Starlite Productions’ directive was to convey the message of Lankenau’s strong roots and history as well as its enlightened path into the future almost entirely through the use of high-definition video. Producer Anthony Buemi asked Starlite’s team to turn anything imaginable into a projection surface, including the grand staircase, a multitude of 50’-high columns, and the roof of the massive tent. Starlite’s team got to work on the design and engineering of the show, and the client developed custom high-definition video produced specifically for the event, including specially formatted and masked video for projection on various columns throughout the facility.

As you might imagine, producing a world-class event of this size in an historic museum had its share of challenges, namely the fact that the museum was in continuous operation and nothing could disrupt the flow of the museum’s normal operation, which resumed each morning. This meant that all production work had to be performed at night, and, at the end of each nightly tech session, all cabling and other items within view had to be removed and stowed.

Additionally, no rigging to the facility structure is permitted, and no light could hit any of the artwork, as the environment is tightly controlled to protect the masterpieces. The main element of Starlite’s design was 28 Barco High End DL.3s, which offered great versatility via mapping given the multitude of differing projection surfaces.

As word of the Gala quickly spread, the event swiftly sold out its original 200 seats and mushroomed to over 500 sponsors and celebrants just two-weeks prior to the event. This necessitated the eleventh-hour need for more space, so a 100’x200’ clear-span tent was erected on the landing just outside the entrance to house the extra guests. The client requested a virtual fireworks display in the tented area, and all readily agreed. Again, the DL.3s came in handy. The high-quality graphics from the media servers coupled with a multitude of lighting, strobes, and other effects, along with a thunderous low-frequency accompaniment, did the trick.

Another key element of the design was the projection of 40’ images on the museum’s grand staircase. While seemingly a simple task, this actually required an extensive mockup and a good deal of preproduction at Starlite’s Moorestown, NJ, facility to ensure proper coverage on both the treads and the risers of the staircase. In the end, the hours were long, but the event went off without a hitch, and the client was thrilled that we executed their vision on a grand scale.

Creative Team
Anthony Buemi, Brandbridge, Ltd, Producer
John Cappuccino, Technical Director
Jason Danowitz, Lighting Designer
Ryan Altschul, Engineer-in-Charge
Jason Gonserkevis, Crew Chief
Michael Abrams, Craig Zaionz, A1s
Harry Snyder, Lighting Programmer
Jeff Bettencourt, DL.3 Programmer


3 MA Lighting grandMA Consoles
28 Barco High End DL.3
14 Philips Vari-Lite VL3000 Spots
12 Martin Professional MAC 700 Profiles
3 Barco Axon Media Server
96 ETC Source Fours And Sensor+ Dimmer Touring Rack
73 Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlast 12
4 Philips Color Kinetics ColorBlaze 72
43 Coemar ParLite LED
6 Panasonic PT DW10000U DLP Projector
4 Sony DXC-D50 Cameras w/Fly Packs
1 Barco ImagePro-HD/SDI Multi-Format Processor
1 Grass Valley Turbo IDDR2
1 Grass Valley Indigo-HD
2 Yamaha LS9-32 Digital Mixing Consoles


Read more on:

Suggested Articles:

World's Famous Building Corporation reimagines world’s narrowest commercial building with animated storytelling through light and media.

On a canvas stretching a full city-block wide and nearly 100’ tall, the design teams of American Christmas and Chris Werner Design transformed the iconic…

Held from 15-27 September 2015 at Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the IAA International Motor Show is one of the biggest auto shows in the world, and is known for…