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Case Study:
University of Portsmouth Students Union



The £7.8 million UPSU build included the Lux, CO2 and Waterhole bars at UPSU, challenging high street standards with a variety of venues for late night and event entertainment. Lux is the main 1200 capacity nightclub, CO2 a chill out bar and the Waterhole sports bar. The installation included dramatic effects lighting, sound and video linked between all areas, via programmable remotely accessible control.


The installation is spread across several floors of the Union while Lux is a very large 175m² dancefloor with 8m high ceiling, posing significant health and safety considerations. The size also required that budget was spent wisely to light the space efficiently while still achieve stunning results with a high degree of show flexibility and keeping all areas as venues in their own right.


The Lux dancefloor is dominated by a custom S-form Prolyte rig. The truss carries high light output SGM Galileo scanners, Giotto moving yokes and strobes, giving excellent show impact from above average height. A smoke machine and dramatic 5m wide visuals projection with local VJ inputs completes the atmosphere. Turbosound floodlight PA with QSE powerlight amplifiers delivers prodigious audio with crystal clarity right to the top.


CO2 Chillout bar
Four MAD colour changer units create mood, accentuated with visuals from four Optikinetics projectors. Video projection here is linked to Lux via a Kramer 8x8 matrix allowing access to local and remote video sources from all venues.


Six trackspot scanners and a UV cannon coupled to four peripheral VR8 scanners keep the standard in this smaller bar up with the Lux and CO2 rigs. With DARE speakers providing crisp audio throughout and Kramer controlled video projection, the Waterhole spec matches any high street bar or club by itself.


A QCommander lighting desk is the nerve centre of highly versatile show programming available to operators in Lux. The system features safety lockouts on a range of dramatic show presets ensuring glitch free regular nights, or allows full operator flexibility for showpiece evenings and special events when the potential of the system can match any occasion. A QCommander replica also enables full local control of Waterhole bar lighting and effects.


Additional project features
Collaboration with council throughout was a key feature of the project, while motorising the Lux rig solved many ongoing maintenance H & S issues. The rig was also finished in white to be unobtrusive for day use. The installation also included remote air conditioned location of main racks for security and longevity.

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