Nearly 100 Robe LED lighting fixtures – T1 Profiles, Spiider LED wash beams plus Divine 160 RGBW LED floods – are at the heart of the house lighting package at Magazine London - the capital’s newest and most exciting event space, located in North Greenwich.
It has been just 300 days since ground was broken in North Greenwich for Venue Lab’s newest venture; Magazine London has now officially opened its doors.
This purpose-built destination is the largest of its kind in London, offering a striking blank canvas across 3,205 sq metres of industrial-style space for up to 3,000 people standing.
The site also features a 7,000-capacity outdoor showground with unbroken views across the river towards Canary Wharf. This brand-new, multi-use venue provides an unrivalled landscape for brand events, awards dinners, conferences, exhibitions, fashion, the arts and ticketed culture.
Space 1 has an impressive eight-metre-high, floor-to-ceiling glass window and access to a private balcony that allows guests to view the verticality of the Canary Wharf cityscape. This area can be used for a reception, as well as being an attractive space in its own right.
The largest of Magazine’s internal space is Space 2.
The interior fit-out comprises over 2,100 OSB boards to bring a warmer wall finish to the warehouse-style design of the building. In total, the project used 13.96 miles of timber, as well as 149,713 screws and 757.5 litres of paint to stain the venue in a specific shade of black; RAL9005.
This black palette is also mirrored in the venue’s polished concrete floor, steel skeleton, production trusses and even the outdoor limestone patio to achieve a unified finish. Space 2 can accommodate 3,000 standing, 2,000 seated for a conference or 1,400 for a large-scale dinner.
Technical Consultant, Simon Jones of SJ-TPM, was brought onboard by Venue Lab to coordinate all things technical that relate to event production including the lighting.
Involved in the process from conception to completion, his brief was to design the overall technical infrastructure including house lighting and sound systems, and oversee the purchase, procurement and installation of all production equipment.
Magazine wanted to be able to offer an in-house production package that included lighting, sound, rigging, power and data distribution. It needed to be flexible and rider-friendly with the option to be used in its entirety or adapted by artists / clients wanting to bring in their own production elements.
Simon wanted to ensure that the production install aligned with the building’s innovative ethos - Magazine London was constructed with advanced materials and revolutionary techniques and has embraced the area’s industrial heritage and prevailing future.
So, when it came to the technical kit, Simon wanted the best, most versatile and practical energy-saving options available.
Simon had numerous positive experiences with Robe, one of which included specifying large quantities of BMFL moving lights for the Westfield London retail complex. Simon commented, “I’ve been hands-on with Robe products for several years, they are rock solid and the service (from local distributor Robe UK) is great, so they were obviously going to be the go-to choice for the Magazine London project”.
Simon sought additional creative expertise from lighting specialists Ben Cash and Dave Amos, at Flare Lighting, who brought great experience in designing for a diverse portfolio of events and ‘out-of-the-box’ live shows with artists like the Pet Shop Boys and Mark Ronson.
They were asked to advise on the install to help ensure that Magazine would have the best options for a multiplicity of scenarios. Simon, Ben and Dave also consulted a variety of other active event and show lighting designers who work day-to-day across different disciplines, asking what they thought would be the best and most appropriate fixtures, then assessed the myriad of suggestions and ideas!
The structural arches of Magazine offer between seven and nine metres of headroom with a good weight loading of five tonnes per arch. This allowed for a Prolyte truss and rigging system to be installed in the roof.
Once a basic lighting requirements brief had been constructed, Simon started discussions with several leading manufacturers to get an overview of the available technologies. From this research, he produced a sensible house lighting budget which was approved by the Venue Lab team.
LED light sources were a given, and with the other considerations proposed by Ben and Dave, this resulted in the purchase of the 14 x Spiiders, 16 x T1 Profiles and 65 x Divine 160 RGBW flood / washes from Robe to be installed in the venue.
The Spiiders and T1s are positioned on the stage rig, and the Divines are installed in the roof trusses where they are ideal for washing the entire venue in high-quality colour.
“The T1s offer great brightness, high-quality output, multiple features and are extremely power-efficient. While the Spiiders are an ‘industry standard’ LED wash, they have a very intense brightness, a great variety of colours, as well as being small and light, taking up very little space,” stated Simon.
With this set up, Magazine London can offer an excellent ‘base’ house lighting option for all events with the ability to tailor production packages if desired. Coupled with the L-Acoustics KARA sound system, event producers have some of the best, most adaptable and appropriate technologies of the moment at their disposal.
Magazine London’s modern technical production specification is part of a forward-thinking venue concept at one of the most charismatic and vibrant event spaces in the UK.
Photos: Gemma Parker