Built in the 14th century, the unusually shaped Hobuveski building in Tallinn, Estonia originally served as a mill and was later used for storage. In 2003, the circular structure was converted into a theatre and events venue, and has since become recognised as one of the most extraordinary theatres in Europe. A recent refurbishment saw the installation of state-of-the-art technology, including a Gio @5 console, ColorSource luminaires and Sensor3 power control from ETC.
Until recently, the 140-seat venue relied on makeshift solutions for performances. With no real infrastructure, changing from one production to another involved building a new, temporary lighting and sound system, almost every time. In 2017, the Hobuveski received the investment and permission it needed to proceed with a major refurbishment. The revamp included a much-longed-for permanent installation of lighting and audio equipment.
The renovations were undertaken as part of a Green Theatre Programme and were designed to meet the latest energy efficiency guidelines. Unsurprisingly, emphasis was placed on LED lighting. The package selected comprised around 95 per cent LED luminaires, including 12 ColorSource Spot fixtures from ETC. Although dimmers were not required for the LED solution, the venue personnel were keen to retain the option of using tungsten fixtures for some productions. This led to the addition of an ETC Sensor3 power control system, with ThruPower modules, capable of accommodating all loads – tungsten, LEDs, arc-source movers, and the unknown.
“The decision to use ETC’s ThruPower modules with dimmer and relays offers the option to switch freely between dimmer and hard power,” says Kalle Karindi, from OÜ Focuspoint, the ETC dealer involved in the installation. In addition to saving time and simplifying the day-to-day operations for the theatre technicians, the solution offered further advantages. “If you consider the expense involved in having separate dimmer and relay racks, including the extra cabling and labour, versus the Sensor3 solution, the cost is comparable,” adds Karindi. “Furthermore, the electrical company said it saved at least a week of installation time for everyone involved in the project.”