A special version of Robe’s ROBIN LEDWash 800 PureWhite SW fixture was specified by lighting designer and broadcast lighting and visual media effects specialist, Manfred Ollie Olma, from Germany-based mo2 design, for the new state-of-the-art Al Jazeera broadcast studio in London.
The studio, located on the 16th floor of The Shard in London features 80 of these Robe moving lights. Mo2 design was commissioned by set design and constructor Studio Hamburg, which installed the studio’s set and infrastructure on the strength of its designs for other high profile TV studio installations. These have included Phönixhof in Hamburg (also using Robe lights) and Sky Sports News in Munich.
The 600sqm London studio is divided into two elements – the News Studio and the News Room. The hub of the main studio is a four-person desk in front of a video wall with a city view background, and a three-person talk desk with a News Room background and a city view. The News Room features workstations buzzing with activity and the general hubbub of global news gathering. This is a format common to Al Jazeera facilities worldwide, and mo2 design had the chance to work on both spaces simultaneously, ensuring complete visual continuity.
Due to the low ceiling height of the space – just 2.7 metres – the idea was that the lighting fixtures remained in shot and became a visible and distinctive part of the Al Jazeera London set designed by Veech Media – along with the commanding panoramic London views out of the iconic Shard building.
Theoretically, mo2 design had the choice between three different lightsources – tungsten/halogen, daylight or LED, however the company picked Robe’s tunable SmartWhite LED option as its warm and cold white outputs – something they had experimented with extensively in previous years – were excellent.
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A new version of the ROBIN LEDWash 800 PureWhite SW was produced, complete with a rotating beam-shaper, which in combination with the zoom gives additional control over the beam – and eliminates the need for barn-doors. The fixture is also made with the newest and brightest LEDs, has an increased efficiency ratio than the previous generation models, and is the same expedient size as the ROBIN LEDWash 600 even though it’s an 800 fixture.
Mo2 design's project director, Matthias Allhoffs, said: “It was a big step for Al Jazeera to go with this new and multi-functional approach to lighting, but they were interested right from the start in embracing the new and different ideas we suggested and, soon as they went on air, they realised how well it is working for them."
The lighting installation and integration was completed by Lichtforum Berlin GmbH who supplied the Robe fixtures to the project’s general contractor, Studio Hamburg. Mo2 design was supported throughout the project by Robe’s German distributors, LMP.