Job Description

BBC Cardiff Central Square

Atrium Theatrical Lighting Fixtures & Control Installation

We were delighted to work with the BBC development team behind the brand new, Norman Foster and Partners designed, 120 million pound, state of the art BBC headquarters in Cardiff to install production-grade lighting and infrastructure into the buildings magnificent five-storey skylit atrium.

The new BBC headquarters boasts a magnificent full storied open atrium that sweeps around a central tower of open-fronted live broadcast studios and production development offices that face open landings and offices across the atriums wide and bright space with its glass, sky-filled, ceiling. The stunning new atrium is the heart of the new BBC headquarters in Cardiff.

It was important that the lighting specified reflected the BBC’s technical, creative and innovative, broadcasting heritage and production standards. The brief utilised the very latest in LED colour controllable, moving lights, mounted on both sides of the atrium on theatrical stage truss, installed by the BBC along the first and second-floor intersections.

We were commissioned to specify and source the required lighting fixtures along with a DMX solution that provided flexible creative programming control that could also be used both manually and portably when required for both production and broadcast purposes.

The Lighting was required to be used for both everyday architectural lighting that would fill the atrium with immediate and dynamic lighting effects, emphasising a broadcast aesthetic, whilst also being fully capable of being used as live production lighting for BBC broadcasts from within the central atrium.


Atrium Lighting Control

The Central Square Atrium lighting system utilises ETC networking equipment and control principles to operate moving light fixtures connected to the DMX infrastructure within the installation. The intention of the system is to provide day to day lighting effects within the Atrium that supplement video content displayed on local video walls and to facilitate lighting requirements for small events located within the space. There is scope to add additional lighting fixtures as required to support events with more demanding lighting requirements, and users can simply connect an sACN enabled console and additional lighting fixtures to the infrastructure when required. 

Due to the flexibility required by the BBC for Atrium lighting control, it was crucial that when being used for broadcast purposes, direct exclusive control is accessible only by broadcast technicians and routed away from Atrium production display lighting control.  

There are two scenarios that will override the control of the Puck.

The first is that a portable lighting desk (ETC [email protected]) will be plugged into a local lighting control network port on the Atrium floor. When this happens, control of the lights is to automatically be handed over to the portable lighting desk. This desk will be used to program new lighting scenes to be stored on the Puck for later playback and to control lighting directly for a show. When the portable lighting desk is unplugged from the network, control of the Atrium lighting will return to the Puck.

The other scenario where the Puck will no longer control the Atrium production lighting is when it is to be controlled by the Broadcast lighting controller. This will happen when the lighting control network for one of the studios is routed to the Atrium lighting rig network. When this happens, control of the production lighting in the Atrium will be solely under the control of the Broadcast controller and will only be handed back to the Puck when the Studio lighting control network is no longer routed to the Atrium lighting rig and the Atrium lighting control network is once more routed to the lighting rig.

Atrium Moving Light Fixtures

  • 6 Robe DL7S Profile
  • 4 Robe Robin DL4S
  • 4 Robe Spiider

Along with fixtures already owned by the BBC and installed by Enlightened in the new atrium, we specified and installed 14 new Robe profile and wash moving light fixtures. 

The BBC specified their choice for Robe moving Light fixtures as their ideal option for Atrium production lighting. After trialling several products in the space, they were very impressed with the Robe fixtures which performed brilliantly; a choice we could as an accredited Robe service agent, wholeheartedly endorse having been keen adopters of Robe fixtures for both our hire and production departments.

Dan Marks: Major Projects Infrastructure: BBC Design + Engineering:
"I just wanted to say a massive thank you for all Enlighteneds hard work. The Lighting Directors have been having a very fun time getting to grips with the fixtures over the last few days. I am happy to report that Lighting was the only element that has received no snags"!

Film & TV
Categories 2: