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Elation delivers ‘theatrical immersion’ at Plaza Mariachi

Plaza Mariachi, a Latin culture destination in Nashville has been fitted with a variety of new Elation lighting, as specified by design collaborative Ardee Design Group (ADG) of Nashville.

Formerly a supermarket, the 60,000sqft space was converted to a themed, multi-use facility with art, music, entertainment, food and retail. Decorated as an outdoor Mexican town square, with traditional marketplace ‘streets’ and ornate storefronts. ADG was contacted to relight the space and chose to use Elation Professional dynamic ellipsoidal, Par and moving lights for the task.

“The Plaza Mariachi project is a unique mix of entertainment techniques in an architectural application, and we utilised quite a bit of Elation equipment to achieve our goals,” said Richard Davis, president and senior designer at ADG.

ADG came on board after the project was well into the construction phase. “The old space was lit warehouse style with harsh fluorescent lighting,” Davis explained. “We treated it as a theatrical immersion and used dynamic lighting and more natural light schemes to light the beautiful storefront facades and enhance the themed environment.”

The Plaza’s main courtyard and five streets, each storefront with a themed, theatre-like façade, all required illumination. ADG used colour, contrast and lighting effects to enhance the space, focus attention and create a visually stimulating environment. The facades have been lit using Elation’s WW Profile warm-white ellipsoidal spot fixture. Powered by a 130W warm-white 3,000K LED engine, it projects a soft and flat field of white light (CRI is over 94) and is ideal for emphasising scenery and facades. It also supports gobos for custom projections and includes a four-blade framing system for control of the beam shape. “We used the WW Profiles to project natural light onto the facades and textured the buildings with leaf breakup patterns and dichroic filters to have the facades come to life,” Davis said. “The WW Profiles worked beautifully for this and is the workhorse of the effect lighting.”

Also used to light the storefront facades, as well as several fountains, are Elation SixPar 100 and SixPar 200 LED colour changers with barndoor kits, the 200 version used to light larger facades. “The SixPars add festivity to the space,” added Davis. “We can theme the entire plaza for a certain occasion, for example Cinco de Mayo, Halloween or Christmas, and can go from white light to festive colour at the push of a button.”

While guests browse the storefronts, live music fills a common area with food court and performance stage. Each night sees a variety of entertainment from Latin bands to big screen viewing parties to special events. On stage, a full LED videowall with accompanying lighting rig of Elation Platinum Spot LED II and Rayzor Q12 LED moving head luminaires keeps the atmosphere energetic and fresh. An Elation-distributed HedgeHog 4 lighting console controls the lighting on stage. Networked into a master ETC Paradigm controller, the HedgeHog console was structured on an Ethernet network, which enables it to be moved anywhere in the venue.