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Canada Water

Canada Water Library

The new Canada Water Library in London's southeast Docklands is an impressive and striking building, with artistic ambitions that take it way beyond the standard repository of books, CDs and IT services.
Built over four floors that taper upwards in an inverted pyramid from the edge of the former Canada Dock, now a freshwater lake and wildlife refuge in Rotherhithe, Southwark Council's £14m investment is an integral part of the local community and popular with commuters who flock to the café for a quick cappuccino or lunchtime sandwich. Its live arts performance operations are run by a team from the nearby Albany Theatre in Deptford.
Architect Piers Gough, of CZWG Architects, told BBC News: "The brief was to put rather a large library on a rather small site. Hence we designed a building that leans out in every direction so we are able to have one library floor above really quite a small footprint on the ground. It's integrated with the Underground so the Tube station entrance is actually part of this building. You can come out of the Tube and borrow a book."
Stage Electrics was brought in by the electrical contractor, Environ, who in turn worked for the main contractor, ISG, to create a ground floor performance space to be used by a wide range of groups for a variety of different projects. It needed to be a highly flexible space - a studio, in effect - for anything from art exhibitions through to music concerts. Added to that, the massive dock doors, which open out on to a courtyard, were to act as a proscenium for an audience sitting outside, with the studio forming the stage.
The building's 'inverted pyramid' design, in which all the walls slope outwards, with the cultural space at ground level, presented some unusual challenges in designing containment, facilities panels and drapery. Darren Beckley, Stage Electrics Divisional Sales Manager - Installation Projects, commented: "As not one of the walls is square we created a unique fan style lighting grid."
Moreover, the space had to be well enough equipped to host a professional touring company's performance and yet still be operable by people of at all levels of technical experience from trainee upwards.

VERSATILE INFRASTRUCTURE
Stage Electrics supplied lighting, audio, video infrastructure, mains power distribution infrastructure and communications systems. Both the technical and physical infrastructure were designed to provide maximum flexibility and because of the sloping walls in the studio/performance area itself, Stage Electrics elected to use a fan-shaped lighting grid with internally wired bars that terminate to a central point and feature on-board data.
Power can be hot-patched to anywhere in the venue, and multiple facility panels allow routing of audio and DMX to virtually anywhere. The shared audio/DMX data distribution system includes video, allowing the client to add a video projector in future.
A studio-wide CAT5e data network carries DMX, ArtNet and other data as required, allowing for complete flexibility. To make this as user-friendly as possible, Stage Electrics designed and fabricated in-house a large bespoke lighting patchbay where the dimming terminates.
The centre of this 1.2 m sq patchbay cover is graced by an engraved map of the lighting grid and surrounding facility panels, and in the corresponding positions around it are the actual PowerCon outlets that connect to the various positions around the venue. Further equipment includes two Martin Atomic 3000 DMX strobes and Zero 88 Chilli dimmers.
For the lighting grid, Stage Electrics chose the Qmaxz QS250W 250W wash lights as offering a nuanced balance of performance capabilities at a competitive price point, along with ETC Source 4s and Selecon Rama and Acclaim fresnels and Hui Cyc Floods, and 22 Encore PAR 64s. An Avolites Pearl Tiger desk, a compact class leader at a very reasonable cost, is in control with Zero 88 Chilli dimming.

AN AUDIO SYSTEM FOR ALL SEASONS
The audio system was designed to allow the client to use the studio in all its many different configurations. Patch panels allow speakers to be repositioned to suit the performance, while distribution of audio tie lines uses the same Cat5 infrastructure as the lighting. In conjunction with the Roland V-Mixing system, the overall approach was designed to give the client a lot of infrastructure and flexibility for their money.
An RCF sound system was specified for the Cultural Space, meeting Stage Electrics' standard dual criteria: that they are the right choice of equipment in terms of performance and quality for the individual project, and that they fit the available budget. RCF loudspeakers were the perfect choice on both counts for this application.
The main performance loudspeaker system consists of four RCF Acustica C5215-Ws with flying frames and four Acustica S8018 18" subwoofers, plus three RCF 4PRO3002-SMA active 12" speakers for foldback. They are powered by two Yamaha P5000 amplifiers for the C5215s and one P7000 for the sub bass.
A fully digital Roland M400 V-Mixer controls the audio system, with a pair of Roland 1608 REAC (Roland Ethernet Audio Communication) devices to transfer audio from the high quality mic pre-amps on stage to the mixing console. The system's benefits include superb sound quality, quick and easy installation and setup, intuitive and easy operation and support for advanced integration applications - all plus points for this project, and of course, excellent value for money. An Allen & Heath IDR8 DSP based 16x16 matrix mixer was also added for extra routing flexibility.
Sennheiser and Shure microphone systems, a Sennheiser assistive hearing system and Denon and Tascam playback devices complete the audio inventory.
On the communications side, Stage Electrics provided a comms equipment rack that included a Cloud zone mixer amplifier, RCF Acustica speaker digital management system, Altair wireless intercom base station and Yamaha P7000S and P5000S power amplifiers.
For Stage Electrics, working on such an unusual and exciting project in such a prominent location, proved a rewarding challenge and naturally they were pleased that the client was delighted with the end result.

http://www.canadawater.org/library.html


EQUIPMENT LIST
COMMUNICATIONS
Cloud 4650 Zone Mixer Amplifier - 4 x 50W 4ohm outputs 1
RCF DX4008 Acustica Speaker Digital Management System 1
Altair 5100 WBS200 Wireless Intercom System
2 Yamaha P5000S Power Amplifier 2 x 500W 8ohm 2
1 Yamaha P7000S Power Amplifier 2 x 700W 8ohm 1

PORTABLE AV PLAYBACK RACK
Denon DNV-100 Professional DVD Player
Tascam CD160MKII CD Player + MP3 Playback

LOUDSPEAKERS
4 RCF Acustica C5215-W Speaker 15
4 RCF Acustica S8018 Speaker 18"
3 RCF 4PRO3002-SMA Active Speaker 12"

MICROPHONES
2 Sennheiser 9500 ew122 G3 Tie Clip Stage Radio Microphone Systems
Sennheiser 9560 ew145-G2 Radio Microphone Handheld System
2 Shure SM57LC Dynamic Microphone
4 Shure SM58LC Dynamic Microphone
6 Sennheiser PM200 Budget Microphone Stand + Boom

PRODUCTION MIXING DESK
Roland M400 V-Mixer
Roland 1608 Reac Device
2 10 Metre Ethercon to Ethercon CAT5 Cable
2 Orange CAT5 Cross Over Cable for Patch Bay

LIGHTING FIXTURES & CONTROL
2 Qmaxz QS250S 250W Spot
3 Qmaxz QS250W 250W Wash
2 Martin Atomic 3000 DMX Strobe
12 Selecon Rama Fresnel 1200W
6 Selecon Acclaim Mk2 Fresnel 650W
9 Selecon Hui Cyc Flood
6 ETC Source 4 Profile 25/50deg
6 ETC Source 4 Profile 15/30deg
6 Encore Iris - Source 4 (24 Leaf)
12 Encore Par 64 Pro Can
10 Encore Par 64 Pro Short Nose Floor Can Chrome
4 Showtec Stage Blinder 4
Avolites Pearl Tiger Console
3 Zero 88 Chilli Dimmers
Le-Maitre MVS Haze machine

ASSISTIVE HEARING SYSTEM
8 Sennheiser HDI302 Stethoset Receiver
8 Sennheiser RI150LL Neckloop Receiver A



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