“This was our first project of this magnitude and the guys at EPS Lighting were really helpful - always on call and full of ideas, which were demonstrated with 3D renderings, making it really simple for us. We are really thrilled with where we have ended up, our Instagram pictures are instantly recognisable, and the lighting played a huge role in achieving that.”
Think of the circus and you imagine bright, bold colours and acrobatics; now picture yourself having ago. Listed in The Times Top Trends for 2017, Flying Fantastic offers just that.
Flying Fantastic is an aerial fitness and circus skills school with four venues in London. Designed by Architect Patrick McKinney of BKD Design, its flagship base was built in a derelict railway arch in Bankside.
The Bankside branch is used as both a professional training and performance space; the two fully equipped studios required a lighting scheme versatile enough to meet all safety and performance standards while delivering an element of excitement to meet Flying Fantastic’s branding strategy.
Christopher Wigan, Flying Fantastic Director, explains, “The safety of our students and instructors was our main priority when it came to the lighting. Working at heights of over 20ft they need to clearly see what they are doing, and we also wanted to eradicate any disabling glare, so traditional spotlights were not ideal.”
“Second to safety was Instagram. It may sound odd but, Instagram is an important social tool for us, people like to post pictures of themselves in various poses. We noticed with our rented locations that all the ceilings looked dull and uninteresting in pictures. We wanted a way for our pictures to stand out and be instantly recognisable as one of our venues, without splashing our branding all over them.”
The spaces, which traditionally would have been lit with suspended fluorescents are now illuminated with 30x RGBW linear fixtures. RGB is used for dramatic effects, casting distinctive bright and colour light onto the ceiling and performance rig, creating a true circus atmosphere. A 5000K white element is used for functional lighting, which delivers 500 lux with 0.9 uniformity, ensuring aerialists safety.
A Pharos controller is located within the main studio area with a range of advanced dynamic control options (including coloured pre-sets and effect sequences), and an additional controller has been installed at the entrance of the building configured to control both studios with basic on/off/dim functionality.
Christopher adds, “The end result is both thrilling and flexible, the view looking up is really cool, while the decision to use LED is keeping our energy bills low.”
The effects are not only reserved for the studios. Flying Fantastic opted for softer more inviting lighting schemes for the reception and changing areas.