Hammersmith Apollo, renamed Eventim Apollo, is a popular entertainment venue located in Hammersmith, West London, England. It is one of England’s largest theatres with impressive measurements that include a 190 ft. (58 m) façade, 160 ft (49 m) wide auditorium and 30 ft (9 m) deep stage. Designed in 1932 by Robert Cromie, the Apollo reflects the era of its creation, a period of intense industrialization and extravagance. Throughout each passing decade, the venue has sought to retain its renowned brilliance while transforming with the times, hosting dazzling performers across genres ranging from Duke Ellington to David Bowie.
The building is cherished as an integral part of England’s cultural landscape. Due to its prominence in popular culture among entertainers and concertgoers, it is recognized by the English Heritage organization of the British government on its Statutory List of Building of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. As part of a renovation effort in 2013, lighting designers were tasked with refurbishing the Apollo’s luminaires with brighter, high-performance fixtures without violating English Heritage’s preservation requirements. Designers and architects needed to radiantly illuminate the venue’s exterior without making any major modifications that would alter its overall appearance.
James Morse Lighting Design, with assistance from architect Tim Foster of Foster Wilson, drafted the project’s lighting scheme with emphasis on creating a stunning visual experience by highlighting the Apollo’s signature Art Deco front façade. They partnered with specialist lighting solutions provider Architainment Lighting and decided on intelligent colour-changing LED lighting systems to implement this plan. Due to the fixtures’ ability to achieve a high degree of brightness, the firms selected Philips Color Kinetics products to replace the conventional light sources originally lining the theatre entrance.
ColorBurst Compact Powercore, ColorBlast Powercore and ColorReach Compact Powercore were strategically placed along the Apollo’s façade to provide extensive illumination to the venue’s entryway, revitalising the structure by saturating its bold columns and distinct marquee with a variety of rich colours. Powercore technologies allowed efficient merging of line voltage with control data and transfer to fixtures through a standard cable. This significantly simplified the installation process and reduced the alterations to the original façade, abiding by English Heritage’s regulations.
Now powered by innovative LED lighting solutions from Philips Color Kinetics, the Apollo façade’s longstanding charm is further accentuated by its enhanced glow as the venue continues to entice eager audiences with its reputation as a cornerstone of British music history.