QatarEnergy’s architecturally striking new auditorium within Doha’s West Bay area opened in late 2022, offering the company a space for conferences, keynote addresses and lectures. Its beehive-style ceiling is rigged with Vari-Lite VL2600 Profile, VL800 EventWash, Cantata LED and Leko LED luminaires from Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), a world leader in lighting to provide rich colours and contrasting looks. The lighting throughout is controlled by a Neo Console and Vision.Net system.
AV systems integrator and Vari-Lite’s Qatar partner Techno Q was appointed by the Arab Engineering Bureau to design, specify and install a lighting and control system for the auditorium during the design stages.
“We were approached to provide technical details, budgeting, riser diagrams and layouts for the lighting and control elements of the project,” says Techno Q’s K.P Afnas Muhammed. “We have been working with Vari-Lite for quite some time and being an exclusive dealer, we have executed several projects here in Doha, including the remarkable Qatar National Convention Centre. We were aware of the quality of Vari-Lite products, which was required for a high-profile project such as the QatarEnergy auditorium.”
One of the major challenges to fit and install the lighting fixtures was the intricate design of the ceiling, which sees a crosshatch of beams soar high above the central seating area to form a vaulted dome-like structure. To meet the demands of the space, a series of lightweight luminaires were needed, and the relatively compact Vari-Lite VL2600 Profile, VL800 EventWash fitted the bill, while providing a fast and powerful profile and wash solution.
In addition, the team opted for a mix of Cantata LED Full Color and Cantata LED Tunable Warm White fixtures, noting their quiet operation and range of rigging options. They also installed a series of high-powered Leko LED Profile fixtures, which offer a range of whites and colour options and SmartFan Control technology, enabling quiet operation when this is essential to hear speakers on the stage.
The VL2600 Profiles are rigged above the audience, mounted left and right on front side trusses; the VL800 EventWash fixtures also reside on these trusses alongside the Leko LED luminaires. The Cantata LED units are above the stage area, also rigged on left-right trusses.
“The light weight of the Vari-Lite was a really big draw for us,” says K.P Afnas Muhammed. “But the dynamics and features of all the fixtures was important too. We are impressed by the quick response of all of them, alongside the fantastic color mixing, high contrasts, intensity and effects.”
At the back of the auditorium, in the dedicated AV room, Techno Q installed a Neo Console, which is fully integrated into a Vision.Net system with interactive control room Touchscreen. Vision.Net Control Station buttons and slider panels are positioned around the auditorium, with two backstage, two stage left and right, two at front and right entry points to the main auditorium, and another two in the corridor and service store.
“The Neo and Vision.Net System will be operated by QatarEnergy’s resident engineers and technicians for the most part,” explains K.P Afnas Muhammed. “However, our team of support engineers at Techno Q will be on-hand to update software as required and provide training.”
The team has already utilized the range of lighting state programs and automations available via the Vision.net and Neo system, including All-On for cleaning and maintenance, low-level for night security and suitable states for presentations or lectures.
“We’re very happy with the end result, using the Vari-Lite solutions,” says K.P Afnas Muhammed. “We believe this to be one of the largest installations of Vari-Lite products in Qatar to date.”
Photo courtesy of Techno Q.