Chicago Flyhouse Blog

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted by Flyhouse on Dec 9, 2019 3:08:25 PM

Flyhouse and UW-Madison find their rhythm at the new Hamel Music Center

Often, the work that Flyhouse does is invisible. Intentionally so. We are all about function, specializing in essential behind-the-scenes rigging, design, safety, and maintenance—everything required for a safe, successful production or event, and everything the audience is never supposed to see. Our contributions to the new University of Wisconsin-Madison Hamel Music Center were anything but invisible.

The new building—featuring a Concert Hall, Recital Hall, Rehearsal Hall—is the perfect harmony of function AND form, designed with unadulterated acoustics, state-of-the-art engineering, and stunning architecture. Flyhouse has been part of the ensemble of experts, coordinating with Strang, Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture, JP Cullen, Fisher Dachs Associates, Talaske, and numerous trades, playing together from the first note.


HIGHLIGHTS

One of the most unique aspects of the new Hamel Music Center is the Flyhouse Automation System. Each room has its own custom control system to move all curtains to one of 12 acoustically-tuned preset positions. For each preset, curtains automatically adjust to the perfect acoustics for the specific performance and style of music—at the touch of a button. Music to our ears! 

Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall

Stacking Curtains and Doors: Twenty-two stacking curtains with doors are built into the copper-leafed shelves that surround the room. The curtains are hidden away and closed up until needed. The curtains extend out from the bottom of the shelf and adjust the reverberation and aesthetics of the hall.   

Wire tension walkway serves as crew access to lighting positions and rig points in the interior of the room. Flyhouse designed and fabricated the walkway using steel wire woven a walkable mesh. The result is light and airy access entirely functional, acoustically transparent, and almost visually invisible.

Collins Recital Hall

Petals: Eight curved steel and wood structures were designed to reflect sound down, away from the ceiling and toward the audience. Flyhouse built the base structure that was covered and finished by Carley Wood Associates. Flyhouse hung each petal from the ceiling, 40 feet above the stage, as fully functional artistic pieces. The largest of the massive petals is 8 feet wide, 15 feet long, and weighs 800 pounds.

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Tiaras: These two rings constructed from woven stainless wire mesh applied to stainless steel framework hang under the petals. They are architectural features that camouflage the exposed lighting battens and, along with the petals, are the featured design elements of the Recital Hall Ceiling. 

To install these key pieces and other equipment, Flyhouse installed a floating platform the full size of the ceiling that carried crew and equipment to the ceiling for installation. 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Hamel Music Center opened to the public this fall. 


BY THE NUMBERS:

3 performance spaces in the new venue: Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall, Collins Recital Hall, and Sing Man & Florence Lee/Annette Kaufman Rehearsal Hall

Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall

4 Flyhouse custom 2,000 lb capacity winches for lifting curtains
1 Flyhouse custom 1,800 lb capacity winch for projection screen
16 2000 lb capacity rigging strong points
22 stacking curtains with 24 stacking curtain doors
5 wire rope access platforms
4 tracking curtains with 4 custom built tracking curtain doors

Collins Recital Hall

24 roller banner curtains
1 Flyhouse custom 3,500 lb capacity winch with full-circle lighting batten
2 Flyhouse custom 1,800 lb capacity winch with half-circle lighting battens
8 Flyhouse custom Petals
2 Flyhouse custom Tiara
8 Flyhouse custom on-stage reflector panels (4 rotating, 4 stationary)
1 Flyhouse custom Piano Barn Door

Sing Man & Florence Lee/Annette Kaufman Rehearsal Hall

4 tracking curtains

90 axes total on 3 independent systems—custom designed and programmed by Flyhouse Automation Systems.

 

Flyhouse_UW_r2

 

Topics: Hoist, Theatrical Rigging, Flyhouse Projects

Elgin Community College Gets a Lift

Posted by Flyhouse on Sep 11, 2019 3:01:28 PM

Arts Center Updated Ahead of 25th Anniversary

Flyhouse’s Safer Venue service provides customers with comprehensive annual inspections and repairs. Nobody likes major repair work or safety incidents that could have been prevented—yearly maintenance is a must. 

The Elgin Community College Arts Center’s recent Safer Venue Inspection identified several rigging issues that needed to be addressed. Flyhouse is always inventing better ways to make rigging systems operate smoother and safer, and our annual venue visits provide the opportunity for improvements and updates. 

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In addition to regular maintenance, Flyhouse was also awarded a larger renovation project at the Art Center; its scope was designed by theater consultant Bill Connor Associates, LLC. The project included the installation of nine custom ZipLift counterweight assist hoists with a custom head block, which allowed the powered hoist to easily retrofit into their existing system. This newly designed hoist can safely move a lineset up to 1000 pounds out of weight. The orchestra shells that exist at Elgin CC weigh close to 4000 pounds and now with the theater upgrades provided, operators are able to move them by the push of a button instead of hanging on the handline hoping that they move a few inches.

Flyhouse has been moving scenery and performers with our custom designed ZipLift hoists since 1998 and we’re extremely experienced in automating things. Our newest hoist is currently being used at Elgin CC but it’s Elgin's custom control system that makes this project truly unique. In just two weeks, we modified the system to integrate all nine units into one custom cabinet for all of the power and controls. Now all nine hoists are controlled by one pendant while the person is standing anywhere onstage, keeping a line of sight on the hoist-assisted linesets flying these extremely large amounts of weight to programmable trims.

In recent years, the Elgin CC Arts Center has primarily been used for concerts, but now the venue is suited for musical productions and much more. The repairs and updates will be complete in time for the 25th anniversary season which begins this fall. We can’t wait to see how these facility improvements put a little more zip in future Elgin CC productions!

Topics: Hoist, Theatrical Rigging, Flyhouse Projects

No Sweat for Flyhouse

Posted by Flyhouse on Aug 8, 2019 1:54:28 PM

15 Days, Contract to Completion

Photo Jul 21, 9 01 39 PM

Some might think that a seven day lead-time and eight day installation—during an NYC heatwave—for a massive stadium project is a problem. But when Flyhouse was tapped by Far Right Productions to help bring the wildly successful Fortnite World Cup Tournament to life, of course we said yes. For us, it's just another chance at what we do best.

Our experienced crew of rope access techs and riggers installed 68,000 feet of light blocking and sound absorbing fabrics at USTA Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, NY. The fabric, custom sewn by Rose Brands Inc, had to be temporarily installed across the bottom of the roof structure, 185 feet in the air. All the fabric panels were placed carefully and without disruption to the several hundred other rigging points also being installed for the audio and visual portion of the show—keeping the event on schedule. Flyhouse enhanced the environment of the stadium so the light and acoustics were perfectly in sync for this live, televised event. 

Arthur Ashe Stadium, July 2019BY THE NUMBERS 
10,000 ft of tension wire 
12,000 ft of horizontal lifeline 
5,000 snap hooks 
300 steel carabiners 
300 support straps 
23,000+ seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium, filled to capacity all weekend 
100 solo tournament players on stage
16-year-old Fortnite World Cup champion 
$3,000,000 Grand Prize 


It was another unique and challenging project that we got accomplished and an example of why Flyhouse is a leader in the sound absorption and light reduction market. But we got it done, no sweat no problem. Challenge us with your impossible projects … we’re ready to play!

 

Topics: News, Arenas, Flyhouse Projects

Behind the Curtains

Posted by Flyhouse on Jul 26, 2019 10:30:00 AM

Everything you wanted to know about Flyhouse products and services
but were afraid to ask!

Flyhouse_Presentation_Quote_Mark

Chicago Flyhouse is a specialty rigging company primarily servicing the entertainment, multi-purpose venue, retail, church, and museum industries. Our rigging services are diverse. Our reputation is sterling. Our dedication to extraordinary rigging that exceeds industry and safety standards means individualized, innovative designs. Whether permanent or temporary, decorative or practical, for the best, safest, and most personalized rigging available, Flyhouse has the solution.

Big rigging for big venues: Flyhouse Arenas also partners with industry-accepted manufacturers to provide and install acoustic and light control solutions for arena and stadiums, while maximizing efficiency and budget. We pride ourselves on out impeccable quality of work and sterling reputation.

And, our Safer Venue program provides rigging Inspection, Training, Maintenance and Warranty to equip any type of space with a comprehensive yearly safety system.
 


Want to learn even more about some of our Flyhouse products and services? Click on any of the topics below (or above) to download details and specs. Isn't that fly?

Arena Curtains 

Zipcontrol: Black

Zipcontrol: Gray

Zipcontrol: Yellow

Ziplift: Xl

Ziplift: X300

Lux Sonitus

Access Solutions

Topics: Flyhouse Products and Services

Grand Valley State University

Posted by Flyhouse on May 15, 2019 8:29:13 AM

Ready for our curtain call!

Grand Valley State University will be welcoming a new president next month with new curtains in the Kirkhoff Center's largest conference room. Flyhouse installed the two panels which measured 10’6” tall and 36’ wide each, for a total of about 70’ of (IFR) Inherently Flame Resistant fabric Charisma, which never need future maintenance with fire-proofing chemicals. As part of the project, Flyhouse repositioned the curtain track to a more convenient place for overall space usability.  After finding access and moving structure, we re-mounted the brackets that hold the track, modifying existing equipment to allow for a more harmonious space for GVSU's needs. 

Flyhouse_GVSU_Blog

These curtains come at the end of a 3-year project that included a $20 million, two-story, 47,000-square-foot addition to the Performing Arts Center. Flyhouse installed rigging infrastructure, pipe grids and curtains in the new space, which includes a black box theater, lighting design laboratory, and a theatre and dance lab. The building also features multiple music department rehearsal spaces and a percussion room, with Flyhouse-installed acoustic drapes so musicians can hone their skills without too much interference from echoes off the walls. 

GVSU's 220-member Laker Marching Band and various vocal ensembles also use the new center, which opened in fall 2017.

Topics: Flyhouse Projects