Sydney Town Hall is one of Sydney’s best loved icons. For
more than a century it has been the city’s major public and
civic building, its clock a popular landmark and the marble steps
leading up to the entrance, one of Sydney’s favourite meeting
During the second half of the nineteenth century it was customary
for the civic halls of England and her colonies to be provided with
organs of imposing dimensions; dimensions which in themselves spoke
of a city’s pride and aspirations. With Sydney’s own
Town Hall itself a structure of lavish proportions, it is no surprise
that the original designers of the organ conceived an instrument
on the grandest possible scale.
Built in London
by William Hill and Son, the Grand Organ was shipped to Australia
and installed in 1890. It was then the largest organ in the world
and is still the largest ever built with tubular-pneumatic action.
The organ was
restored between 1972 and 1982 and is used regularly for performances.
The final stage of the organ’s restoration unfolded in 1992
when the Town Hall was restored. At this time the original colour
scheme for the case, with its lavish gilding, was reinstated.
The Sydney Town
Hall is an impressive centre for civic and cultural events and its
state-of-the-art facilities make it one of Sydney’s most exciting
venues. However its’ heritage listing means that any technical
changes within the building have to be carefully considered; the
placement of audio visual equipment is not easy.
So how do you
give a venue such as Sydney Town Hall an extra edge with which to
attract potential venue hirers?
was to light up the wall behind the organ in changing colour. Initially
the lighting department at the venue was solely interested in changing
the existing prehistoric lights that lit up the organ as they were
becoming a safety risk. Not only were they high maintenance but
they were also positioned rather precariously. Whist looking at
replacements, the idea of colour changing lights was born and the
venue operators soon realised the attraction of such a feature to
Due CityColour 400 colour wash units were supplied by BeyondAV and
these are situated within the organ on a platform. From there, the
unit’s colourwash the back wall behind the organ. The colour
can be static or on a continuous change.
One of the first
important functions that benefited from the venue’s new feature
was the Wallabies Bledisloe Luncheon. The wall was lit in a brilliant
shade of green whilst the organ pipes were lit in gold and the client
was very pleased with the result.