At Churchill War Rooms, visitors can walk in the footsteps of Winston Churchill and glimpse into what life would have been like during the tense days and nights of the Second World War. Situated within the Churchill War Rooms is the award-winning interactive Churchill Museum which tells the story of Winston Churchill’s remarkable 90-year life, from his childhood, to his military career, two periods as Prime Minister and beyond. Last month, IWM added a new display to the Churchill Museum exploring Winston Churchill’s relationship with the Middle East. With the new display relying heavily on technical equipment, IWM approached White Light to install a brand new technical system in Churchill and the Middle East, which was driven by a Pharos Controller.
The recent upgrade to the technical equipment was overseen by White Light’s (WL) Technical Solutions Engineer Rob Stallard and was programmed by WL’s Systems Design Engineer Ian Davies. Rob explains: “In the Churchill and the Middle East display, there are two shows: the main show and another which is slightly shorter. These are on a continuous loop for those in attendance. The technical equipment consists of three projectors, four bright sign players, ETC Source Four Minis and an LSC Dimmer. Our brief was to provide a control system with the ability to programme all of this and allow the different technical elements to work holistically with one another”.
The WL team met with Lighting Designer Andrew Grant who also supplied several specified dimmers and fixtures. The team then made several site visits to become familiar with the space. Ian comments: “Knowing we had to provide a reliable control system for lighting and AV within the Museum, it soon became clear that the Pharos LPC1 Controller would be the perfect solution”.
The Pharos LPC is an award-winning, all-in-one control solution for themed entertainment and LED lighting installations. It features individually controllable and independently running timelines and scenes, allowing users to build dynamic, precise, fully customisable programmes. It is also designed for 24/7 output, which is ideal for the display in the Churchill Museum.
Rob comments: “We’ve used Pharos before on other projects so are fully aware of its capabilities. My personal experience has been it is reliable, flexible and compact; which is ideal for a space as intimate as Churchill War Rooms. For this project, it was vital that we had some equipment that could integrate different disciplines which included lighting, audio and projection”.
WL programmed the entire system at their London base before visiting Churchill War Rooms where they installed the equipment. Ian explains: “We used the Pharos Designer software which allowed us to create logic and programming. For the lighting, we created three key switch positions (on/off/auto). These three modes were engraved into the programming meaning the Rooms were able to run whatever is most suitable for that particular day”.
The programming also allowed complete control over the bright sign projectors which feed the audio and video content. Ian adds: “With a set up like this, it’s about one element being triggered and ensuring that the others are synced accordingly; something we were able to achieve with the Pharos LPC”.
WL have also recently drawn on Pharos software for Dinosaurs in the Wild; a separate touring exhibition which is currently at EventCity, Manchester. Paul McLean, WL’s Project Manager, comments: “Dinosaurs in the Wild is a unique and exhilarating blend of live-action theatre and theme park fun which allows visitors to encounter living dinosaurs like never before. The entire lighting setup was controlled via a Pharos LPC40 as the 4D experience was entirely dependent on repeatability and integration; something this model offers in abundance”.
Tim Edwards, UK Sales Manager for Pharos, comments: “It’s fantastic to see WL drawing on our products for some extremely exciting projects. Whether it’s the iconic Churchill War Rooms or the ground-breaking Dinosaurs in the Wild exhibition, the adaptability and reliability of our equipment means more end users than ever before are able to benefit from this”.