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Case study – Cutting-edge club design with coolux Pandoras Box

Andrew Brister 24 November 2010

A show venue in Las Vegas had to be completely transformed in just six weeks. Design, partial rebuilding, system integration and content production all had to be finished. We look at how it was done.

Alex Doss is a scenic designer with an impressive track record in the creation of unforgettable club, theatre and event experiences. Together with a highly experienced crew including Ginger Fournier, Sven Gayer and Timo Weinhold, he was given the tough task of completely transforming the Fuego Night Club in the Rio Casino, Las Vegas.

Design, partial rebuilding, system integration and content production all had to be finished in a mere six weeks. To make the situation even more challenging, dance rehearsals were scheduled to take place in the middle of this creative yet chaotic situation.

The venue itself was located inside the Rio Casino in Las Vegas and had previously been used by the artist Prince as a showroom for his exclusive concerts. The former inhabitant’s legacy consisted of violet coloured walls and many meters worth of rear-projection boxes situated alongside the completely round-shaped main room.

A wholly-new and all-encompassing design concept was needed, that had to take the reintegration of existing equipment into account as well. Luckily, Alex Doss had a great range of equipment ready for action at this point, which had become available after a recently finished production: 50 beaMovers courtesy of Publitec, two Sanyo XF47, 104 LED panels, Versa Tubes, Atomic Strobes, fog machines and eight coolux Pandoras Box Server PROs.

His design had to fulfil two main tasks. First, he wanted the interior space to become one holistic light sculpture. Second, he needed it to become possible for the club’s visual appearance to change drastically at the flick of a button, to accommodate the great stylistic variety of performers and show acts, ranging from electro to latin house DJs. 

The gaps inbetween the long line of rear projection boxes were visually closed using LEDs and Versa Tube fragments that allowed for an attractive yet intentionally sketchy connection of the video content.

beaMovers are among Alex Doss’s favourite ‘toys’, which he skilfully combined with kinetic objects such as retractable screens and projection screens on movable frames to create his drastic re-imagination of the club space. No matter how challenging the programming, Alex was able to rely on the versatility of the coolux Pandoras Box product range: “I really don’t know where to start. I love everything about the system, the product itself, the communication between users and the way the creative geniuses at coolux continue to come up with innovative solutions that make being a designer a real joy.”

Timelines containing complex content structures as well as matrix settings, LED and Versa Tube control were programmed to create seamless fading between all different kinds of content.

During shows and club nights, the VJ’s turntables and any kind of additional equipment could be fed into the setup from different positions, using pre-programmed router settings to create mural like panoramic effects. In terms of sound, the setup was prepared for integrating Sonic Emotion’s 3D sound system, which can be easily connected to Pandoras Box and allows the creation of unforgettable spatial sound installations.
Alex Doss’ video design let the projection boxes represent the overall theme, with walls, floor, ceiling and furniture becoming living extensions of the theme. The beaMover was able to move dynamic beam structures in haze or allow three dimensional objects to appear.

Projection screens covering LED panels served as an accentuation of the projected image with intensive light details that were synchronised and played out via layering and the LED controller.

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