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South Hampstead High School
Theatretech were initially involved with the school architects Hopkins to provide theatre facilities for a rather specific music recital facility called the Waterlow Hall. The original scheme never materialised, and we were separately asked to work with the new architects Broadway Malyan on a completely different scheme for the same space.
The result is a multi-purpose Hall that is intended to cater for every performance type required by the School, which includes dance, music and drama. The conceptual design developed by the architects was to use vertical timber strips round the complete auditorium walling, and concealing a technical gallery that runs round the Hall, and creates a level to conceal plugging boxes, hoist motors and other technical theatre equipment.
The rigging is arranged across the hall, in between some fixed acoustic baffles and lines of acrylic drop-rods that are illuminated from above and create a chandelier effect. These together with some vertical LED lighting strips set into the side panelling are fully programmable, and can operate alongside the Arc system house lighting.
The audio installation includes a full ethernet installation, but also includes traditional audio tie lines at the stage end run back to the control booth and audio mix location, and there are fibre links as well.
The Hall is equipped with a high level of equipment and systems, the audio mixer being a Digico SD12, the lighting control desk is an ETC Eos, and all the new stage lighting fixtures are on-board colour mix LED source. 10 electric hoist sets allow draperies, stage lighting and audio equipment to be raised an lowered, which allows pupils to do the rigging of them at stage level, and there are two projector screens which raise and lower, and two laser-phosphor projectors which are on mechanical lifts that allow them to be raised out of view when not in use.
The majority of the seating is on a retractable unit, so the Hall can be used with a complete flat floor throughout.
This is a prestigious project for a high-achieving school, and should serve the pupils and staff well for many years