Panasonic Lights Up Karrinyup Shopping Centre

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Back in the 1970s and into the 1980s, Karrinyup Shopping Centre was one of a handful of growing, suburban shopping centres that were challenging the commercial dominance of the Perth CBD. KSC has been around a long time, and over the decades it’s constantly expanded and evolved to keep pace with the spate of shopping precincts that have since sprouted across the Perth metropolitan area — competition is fierce. In 2018, the company behind the centre, AMP Capital, decided on a major redevelopment with a price tag of AU$800 million which would effectively double the size of the centre and bring the retailers up to almost 300 different outlets. The end result was completed in October 2021. It included an entertainment and dining precinct called The West Deck. Here, shoppers can enjoy a wide variety of food, access to a large cinema complex, and a landscaped, relaxing atmosphere. The West Deck is a feature of the centre, and in the evenings a clever installation of Panasonic projectors lights up the building’s exterior facade into a vibrant and engaging display along with full audio, telling stories of local history, and indigenous culture and legends.

Lux Events is one of Western Australia’s largest event management and production companies specialising in creating spectacular audio/visual displays for corporate and public events. Originally, KSC was looking to hire projection from Lux for use during special events, but that brief was soon changed to a permanent installation so the video content could become a permanent attraction. Of course, it also impacted the approach of Lux Events to the project and threw up some interesting challenges. MD David Trapp explains, “At first, the development’s project management team were consulting with an eastern states company and were considering either a lighting or a projection solution. We were able to demonstrate the advantages of working with a local integrator, and we managed to convince them of the appeal of projection as a story-telling medium.”

Around the Trees

Trees… we all love trees. They’re shady, nice to sit under, pleasant to look at and make stuff like apples… however, they also grow. It was recognised early that sight lines for the projectors could be affected by the planned tree-scapes’ growth, so the Lux team worked up a 3D model of the area that incorporated the location and scale of the trees from day zero to maturity, resulting in recommended amendments to the landscaping plan.

With a space like The West Deck, not surprisingly there is a lot of lighting. Festoon lights, garden lighting, LED signs, and all the various wires to suspend these fixtures — a veritable labyrinth of shadows and ambient light that would adversely affect the projection. To develop a solution that minimised ambient light spill while maintaining minimum lux requirements for public safety, Lux Events worked with the lighting contractors to integrate control into the media server.

Precision Projection

The mounting points and sight lines for the projectors were reconfigured to avoid the trees and the worst of the fixture obstacles. This is where the Panasonic projectors really came to the rescue. 4 x Panasonic PT-RZ34K 30,000 lumen laser projectors, three of them paired with the ET-D75LE6 lens and the fourth with an ET-D75LE10, allowed for steep angles of focus while still maintaining a perfect image. The precise mapping that the projectors offered meant that detailed masking could be programmed around the tenant’s windows to avoid spill into the outlet and not override any signage. Next, triggers were put in place so that much of the ambient light was 'ducked’ whenever the projection came to life. Similarly, when the display included specific audio, the in-house background music is automatically lowered to reduce interference.

"Circumstances beyond everyone’s control put in doubt the delivery of certain components, but Panasonic pulled out all stops and made sure everything came to us in good time. They were a tremendous help in getting the project over the line."

With such an important project — the shopping centre redevelopment is easily the largest commercial rebuild in WA — everything had to be done on schedule, and Panasonic didn’t let Lux Events down.

The finished project is a showpiece of AV integration and creative projection, and a great example of Lux Events’ project management expertise, combining with Panasonic’s cutting-edge projectors to bring to life a stunning display that transforms the Karrinyup Shopping Centre into a tourist attraction and a modern artform. It’s a popular place for fun, entertainment and family get-togethers.

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