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Lighting the Way for the Conservatory at MGM National Harbor

Posted by Chloe Jefferson on 6/16/17 10:39 AM

Each year, hundreds of people head to the capital of the United States for a glimpse of the cherry blossoms famous to the region. This year, Ed Libby & Company Events, Frost Productions, and 4Wall DC collaborated to create an exhibit for the MGM National Harbor that payed homage to this natural display of beauty.

An outside view of the MGM National Harbor. An outside view of the MGM National Harbor.

Hired by MGM to provide an artistic touch to the 15,000-square-foot conservatory, Ed Libby & Company Events is slated to create a series of seasonal displays that will greet guests upon arrival. The Spring display captures the beauty of the cherry blossoms with its sparkling pearl white, pink, and lavender floral décor. To accentuate the fixture, Libby entrusted Frost Productions with delivering a lighting proposal befitting for his sculptures.

A side view of the cherry blossom themed display at the MGM National Harbor. A side view of the cherry blossom themed display at the MGM National Harbor.

Frost Productions is a national events services company that creates production design for events of all varieties and sizes. The team handles lighting, audio, video, and digital décor, as well as staging, renderings, videography, and editing.

"Ed Libby provided us with [the design] layouts that were imported into Vectorworks," said Frost Productions Project Manager Niklas Andersson. "From there I could calculate the placement, angles, and distances needed to select the right fixtures.”

Ed Libby, brainstorming ideas for the winter conservatory display. Ed Libby, brainstorming ideas for the winter conservatory display.

When it came to selecting fixtures, a roadblock arose due to the conservatory's glass atrium. "To compete with daylight and having the rig suspended at 80', it was necessary to install fixtures with enough output," explained Andersson.

To make this possible, Frost Productions turned to the Martin by Harman company, a world leader in dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors.

To counteract the light from the sun, Frost used MAC Viper Performance fixtures, which have an output of 26000 Lumens, and MAC Viper Wash DX fixtures, which outputs at 33000 Lumens. Viper Performances luminaires were used for gobo textures and slow movement to add life to the fixtures, while Viper Wash DX luminaires provided a floor wash and gave an overall base color to both the sculptures. Additionally, Frost incorporated RUSH MH 7 Hybrid fixtures to light the décor and pools. These small, but powerful hybrid units delivered the punch needed to stand out when competing with the Vipers.

The Lunar New Year display from the MGM National Harbor. The Lunar New Year display from the MGM National Harbor.

Mounting the units is where 4Wall Entertainment came in to play. 4Wall is a full-service lighting company that specializes solely in providing entertainment lighting systems. Along with the Martin by Harman fixtures, 4Wall installed 30 Elation Professional Area Par Zoom luminaires to illuminate the ceiling. “The sole purpose of the Elation Pars is to provide a ceiling wash to create a sky-like atmosphere in the space,” explained Andersson.

Here is a view of a past display, which was enjoyed throughout the winter season. Here is a view of a past display, which was enjoyed throughout the winter season.

Overall, the collaboration of these six companies resulted in the creation of a striking lighting design. Check out other compelling conservatory displays from the past and look out for future ones here.

*Some of this content previously ran on Lighting and Sound America’s website on April 4, 2017.

Topics: Entertainment, Vectorworks, lighting design, 4Wall, Ed Libby, Ed Libby & Company Events, Elation Professional, Frost Productions, MAC Viper Performance, MAC Viper Wash DX, Martin by Harman, MGM National Harbor, Niklas Andersson, RUSH MH 7 Hybrid, The Conservatory at MGM National Harbor

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