For the new purpose-built conference centre at the InterContinental London – The O2, the hotel brand has developed a conference centre that’s the envy of Europe, with a luxury 31,000sqm pillar-less ballroom as the centrepiece of the centre’s facilities. Designed for a full range of corporate events, the Arora Ballroom needed a lighting scheme that provided flexibility to match every occasion, and 330 of RCL’s DR7 recessed luminaires provided the solution.
The hotel, located in historic Royal Greenwich on the vibrant Greenwich Peninsular, offers easy access to the O2 music and entertainment venue via a covered walkway, and provides convenient access to the ExCel centre via cable car. With such local amenities combined with the riverside location of the conference centre, the InterContinental 02 has a perfectly located position to match the array of meetings spaces and facilities on offer.
The centrepiece Arora Ballroom, measuring 76m by 40m, facilitates multiple configurations for smaller events, and can accommodate a large number of guests at its largest, seating up 2,500 for a dinner with full staging and dance floor, making it the perfect setting for award ceremonies and glamorous parties. In addition, the Ballroom has access to heavy weight access lifts, and features 64 one-ton rigging points to allow for a full range of corporate events including exhibitions, conferences, vehicle showcases and product launches.
The lighting scenario needed adapt to both the different arrangements of this giant space, as well as the events hosted in the Arora. In addition, with rigging points, it became apparent that the lighting scenario also needed the versatility required for lighting suspended items in the three-dimensional space, rather than elements positioned solely at floor level.
330 of RCL’s DR7 luminaires were specified for this reason; with full pan and tilt control of the luminaire from ground level, the InterContinental team can precisely aim the beam from floor level. Despite this flexibility, there are no protruding elements below the ceiling plane, ensuring the surface remains clear of obtrusive features, and maximises the impact of the 7.5m room height.
Matthew Nourse, project manager at RCL, explains: “RCL have become fond-favourites of specifiers for functional possibilities that our remote controlled luminaires bring to architectural lighting. Particularly for the hospitality sector, being able to direct the beam from ground level, despite the often high ceiling heights we work with offers numerous advantages for the operators of venues.
With the 35-degree tilt of the DR7 and complete pan rotation, there’s a great deal of flexibility in where the venue can direct light from the floor, yet the low-profile finishing allows for a discreet appearance.
Configured to work with the iLight DMX lighting system from Eaton, the luminaires can be refocused to suit individual event requirements, and pre-set scenes can be selected. The choice of control protocol reflected the desire to configure all elements of the scheme centrally; the DR7 luminaires are synced with the other light sources in use through the Ballroom, including RGB LED strips for cove lighting that offers colour changing possibilities for the hotel.
Matthew Nourse further describes the technical integration of the DR7s with the controls system for the InterContinental:
“Working closely with iLight, we’ve been able to deliver a solution for the InterContinental O2 that can quickly recall scenes for common layouts, but still offer the flexibility that allows for fine-tuning to adjust to the intricacies of every single event set-up that the InterContinental will require.
“With the DMX synchronisation, the luminaires can be controlled to match both the functional need of the Arora, as well as co-ordinate with the required ambience for any given event.”
The benefits of remote controlled luminaires in such a configurable space are clear, as the Arora hosts numerous events, the lighting can quickly be adopted to the needs of the function, without need for scaffolding or mechanical lifts.
The DR7s were supplied with 2700K LEDs, providing a warmth and richness to the lighting that offered intimacy despite the vast space being lit, while the high colour rendering (90+CRI) of the LEDs used allows accurate colour reproduction, perfect for revealing the true colours of subjects within the ballroom space.
With a six-degree optic, the DR7s offer an extremely narrow beam, perfect for spotlight out the centre of banqueting tables, despite the high installation point.