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How Oxygen Lights up a Historic Building

For Super Bowl 2017, we had the opportunity to install lighting, sound and video projections in the Houston Public Library for the Vanity Fair Pre-Super Bowl Party. We sat down with one of our Technical Directors, Adam, for all the details on how we pulled off this party!

What made the Vanity Fair gig complex?
It was a challenging event because we had to add a modern twist to the venue, whilst preserving the historic aesthetic. Vanity Fair’s brand is very 1920s Hollywood; glamorous but still edgy. We wanted to maintain that feeling whilst pulling off a seamless, coordinated and scripted show, incorporating the latest equipment. This also had to be done without anybody being able to see any of the fixtures or operators, which would compromise the appeal.

How was it working with a historic building?
The Houston Public Library presented an interesting prospect. On one hand, it’s a historic building, built in 1926, which is a labyrinthine jumble of hallways, thick limestone walls (meaning no wireless worked) and stairwells, that we got to know well over the 5 day install. However, it had recently gone through a complete renovation, where they sealed all the windows against moisture. This presented the challenge of having no windows to run cables through, meaning 2 miles of power distribution, data, audio, video and lighting. The designer, Jonathon Beck, and the event planner, Larabeth, who we were honored to work with, wanted a seamless show without any cables seen. This often meant 400 ft of cable ran around the outside of the building instead of spanning a doorway. The place itself was visually stunning- old world cornices, fine architectural details, and hidden cherubs everywhere. We used around 90 pars and lekos on the interior and exterior of the building plus a bevy of moving lights hidden in the various rooms. It proved to be a pain to light as just when you thought you were finished, another detail presented itself, and required a further trip to the trucks to dig around for more lighting.

How did you manage to hiding all the fixtures?
All I can say is thank God for battery fixtures! On the last day we used 100 wireless pucks, 60 wireless battens and 160 well-fit uplights to fill out the space and highlight decor items the designer had brought in, such as antique leather football helmets and pads.

Oxygen Eventworks - Vanity Fair outside

Oxygen Eventworks - Vanity Fair outside

The stunning Houston Public Library where the lighting design begins, first with this purple wash over the facade of the building

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

The contrast between the library lit and the dark of night washing over the rest of the city. Our wireless fixtures in full force!

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

As you enter into the building, our LED uplights are set to a crisp white tone to highlight the coloring of the space which speaks for itself.

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

Another shot of the front, with our PAR lights discreetly situated in the background. The beauty of the blend...

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

Another room for guests to get lost… this particular one colored in oranges, with hints of white throughout the archways - we love the look of the amber inside, against the purple outside.

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

A subtle gobo wash frames the well lit live spanish band! Perfecto!