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in Sound, Light & Vision

Chas BESA - British Education Suppliers Association

Clapham Library

Mary Seacole Centre, London, SW4

The award-winning Clapham Library embodies an audacious spiral design of seamlessly connected spaces. The openness and flexibility of the central space allows it to be transformed into a performance area, where the open spiral ramp offers visitors a great view of any performance.

When first built the performance-space relied upon portable sound and lighting equipment.  When the time came to invest in permanently installed equipment Clarity were asked to provide an integrated PA system with wall-mounted speakers and off-stage control systems, and a fixed theatrical lighting system with control systems and uplighters appropriate to the space.  It was essential that the systems be discreet to allow the library to fully function out of major performance times and the equipment needed to be easy for non-specialist staff to use as no technical operators are brought in for the Library’s events.

With flexibility and ease of use a top priority, Clarity recommended the Library have a simple to operate wall control panel that can be pre-programmed with lighting scenes, as well as the ability to operate both sound and lighting from anywhere in the venue via a tablet.  This means anyone used to using a tablet can easily control the venue’s sound and lighting systems.

At high level Clarity installed two white lighting bars to match the painted wall finish, complete with colour changing profile lanterns to light the performance area and one to project the bespoke Clapham Library gobo show in the main photograph.  A moving light was included on the bar for use predominantly at children’s events.  A system of six LED uplighters was also supplied which are ideal for event lighting as they are battery operated and wirelessly controlled so can be located wherever staff want to put them.

To blend with the white walls and be aesthetically pleasing, white JBL column speakers were installed each side of the auditorium.  A sound equipment rack was fitted into a storeroom with an amplifier, digital processor and four radio microphone systems complete with handheld and lapel microphones.