Professional Lighting & Production - Summer 2017 - Page 33

city not in action. “We are really happy with that design,” notes Lavoie. “We really had to do a custom solution since we had to lift the projectors, but also a sheet of marble, so there was a lot of weight.” In addition to the video content, there is a complement of lighting fixtures to supple- ment the atmosphere created by the more central video and projection features. “Around the main plaza, there was a panoply of RGB Lumenpulse Lumen Beam Grande luminaires that would light the area around the fountain,” explains Garou Blancan, lighting specialist at XYZ. “There were some white luminaires that were used just for basic protocol lighting and there were quite a bit of Martin Mac Quantum Profiles and Martin Mac Quantum Washes, and these were mainly utilized during the shows for effects or gobos or beams moving around, etc.” The programming for these fixtures was done using Martin’s M-PC programming and editing software. To keep the Martin fixtures weatherproof, 21 of Tempest’s Tornado Series moving light enclosures were used. “The lighting is really programmed into the show as an add-on and not as the show itself. There is quite a bit of lighting inside the foun- tain as well and I think that gives quite a nice effect,” adds Blancan. The fountain lighting he refers to was done with 100 custom sub-aquatic RGBW LED spots supplied by Dubai-based show fountain company Magical Water. As far as content, the huge Gateway screens are typically used for advertising while the overhead LED screen strips and projection along the Showstreet and in the plaza are used to create ambiance. At night, when the video, lighting, and projection are at their most impactful, the three- to five-minute shows play once an hour. The loose narrative of the shows, created by Float4, is amplified by the visual technology, as well as the Bose and Meyer loudspeakers, to stimulate and create an awe-inspiring experience. “When it is a show, the people stay there; they don’t move,” attests Cyr. “They’re really meant to attract people and you can see when the show starts, peopl e come from every- where, every area, every alley, and then they gather around the fountain.” them working for us and to make sure that we got the right information in time. One example, says Cyr, is that the original plan XYZ was given was for the projectors to be installed on the overhead Diagrid, but they learned the structure wasn’t strong enough to safely support the added weight. “So then it had to go on the building, but nobody wanted to take the blame to say that the structure cannot support it,” Cyr continues. “So we had to push with the engineers to get a solution, like, ‘If you do a platform here, you disperse the weight,’ and it was a bit of struggling because nobody wanted to take the risk.” Despite the politics, the end result is exactly what was hoped for: an awe-inspiring retail environment that amazes and attracts locals and visitors alike. Thinking back to when Lavoie visited the site after the mall had opened but before the integration of the AV features, he recalls, “When I asked the taxi driver to drive me there, I asked him some questions, like, ‘How is this mall? Is it good and is it well received?’ The taxi driver told me, ‘Oh no, this is a very empty space and nobody goes there. It’s very bad.’ Actually, when I went there, it was nice, but it was empty,” Lavoie says. “And then we did the project, we integrated the show and such… and right now, I think every night it’s full and packed. The main focus was to get people out- side because when it’s hot in Dubai, it’s crazy hot, so the idea of being outside and being in a public space, that concept doesn’t exist in Dubai. So this is a really nice concept and it actually works pretty well because it’s full now; it’s really a destination.” Cyr, who remains in Dubai, backs up that statement: “It doesn’t just attract expats and tourists, but it also attracts the people that live there. They are really amazed about the tech- nology and all the integration. I travel a lot, and there are not many shopping malls that have that level of AV integrated in the architecture.” In that sense, the City Walk seems perfectly suited for Dubai. Michael Raine is the Senior Editor of Professional Lighting & Production As technically advanced as the City Walk proj- ect is, Cyr and Lavoie both say that the biggest challenge, aside from the 55-degree summer heat in Dubai, was the tight schedule and politics involved. “Since we were working with Float4, our client was Meraas, but for the other suppliers, the client was the MEP,” says Lavoie. “They don’t answer to the same person, so the chain of command was very hard for us to say, ‘Hey, you need to do that,’ but at the same time, he is not our supplier; he is a supplier of MEP, so he doesn’t have to answer to us. So that was kind of the hard way to have the in- formation in time to make sure that the sched- ule was also respected because we didn’t have control of that schedule. I would say it was a big struggle during the whole project to keep PROFESSIONAL LIGHTING & PRODUCTION • 33