Monash University - Robert Blackwood HallClayton, VictoriaAustralia

As one of Australia’s premier tertiary learning institutions, Monash University has many world-class facilities. One of the best known among them is the renowned Robert Blackwood Hall, Melbourne’s most prestigious performing venue outside the CBD.

NDYLIGHT’s architectural lighting design incorporated the complete replacement of all public lighting areas with energy efficient LED lighting. The advantages of this solution were a lower energy cost, better lighting performance, and maximising lamp life in luminaries located in difficult to reach locations, improving comfort and wellbeing of all users and occupants.

The lighting design in the foyer sets the tone for the rest of the hall. From the very moment people enter the space, they feel like they are attending a significant performance, as they move from the dusk like comfort of the space to the brightly lit artworks that are selectively placed throughout the area.

Another highly functional design feature was the dimming system. The house lights in a performance space need to be adjusted smoothly, and precisely to ensure the audience isn’t “taken out of the moment”. The RGBW lighting design can produce a dazzling array of colours, as well as the expected warm white house light, slowly fading through warmer hues as it dims. Even the house lights become a part of the performance – the colours can be cued in to the expected themes or styles of the performance, raising audience anticipation as an unexpected saturated colour tonality completely changes the look of the interior.

The design also included streamlining the lighting controls. Integrating the stage lighting with the house lighting systems allows the lighting effects of the entire hall to be operated from a single location, improving the efficiency and quality of crew operation. This comprehensive visual update brings the dim 1970’s venue into a bright, vibrant future, ensuring it will provide an elegant performance space for many years to come.

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