Photos credit: Louise Stickland
DeFabrique is a fantastic canal-side event space located in the former Ulbe Twijnstra oil mill and processing plant in Maarssen, Utrecht, Netherlands, which dates back to the 1920s and oozes style and amazing industrial chic.
In 1996 the plant – which supplied linseed oil for the manufacturing of paint, soap and margarine – closed and was rejuvenated as a unique event location by a local couple who took great pride in maintaining the historical and industrial character of the building.
DeFabrique is now a successful, well-equipped venue for meetings and events from 50 to 3,500 people offering 8 charismatic halls for hire which have been lit with around 400 Robe PARFect 100 fixtures supplied by Bijman Audiovisual.
Bijman Audiovisual, based in De Meern, specialises in supplying sound, lighting and AV to corporate events. It’s now run by Ramon Bijman, was originally founded and run by his parents and has been flourishing for 35 years before their retirement 6 years ago.
Bijman AV has been providing DeFabrique’s technical requirements for the last 15 years, but last year it was time for a major technical overhaul.
Ramon sought a cost effective, flexible and uber-cool energy efficient lighting solution to replace the generic PAR 46 ‘house’ lighting of the previous installation. It was also important to Ramon to preserve the fantastic rawness and edginess of DeFabrique’s industrial atmosphere and combine it with a thoroughly modern, carbon-conscious lighting scheme that looked fabulous.
Enter Robe’s PARFect 100!
The LED source ACL-style fixture is an affordable made-in-Europe product and a static version of Robe’s massively successful LEDBeam 100 fixture. The fixture retains key features of the LEDBeam 100 like both CMY and RGBW colour control, tungsten emulation, zone FX, selectable and variable colour temperatures and a powerful, punchy 7° beam.
The PARFect 100s were Bijman AV’s first Robe purchase, a choice based on the quality of the light output and the richness and diversity of the colours.
Ramon and his team had initially considered other options but the PARFect won out in every aspect, and it was a great testament to his confidence in the brand by committing to such a large purchase, which was delivered by Robe’s Benelux distributor, Controllux.
“The wide colour range that the PARFect 100s can produce and the fact they can do excellent pastels was imperative, as venues like this need a proper range of colours to accentuate the depth and special ambience” explained Ramon.
The PARFect 100 also had the right intensity and plenty of headroom over and above that of the old PAR 46s.
The lights are all rigged as high as possible in the various ceiling spaces around DeFabrique – up to 20 metres in some cases – so not to intrude, and help maintain the original look and vibe of the venue, complete with all the original industrial elements that make it so dramatic and interesting.
“We definitely didn’t want the installation to look too slick or to resemble a stage set or a festival” so considerable effort was made to physically blend the PARFect 100s into the architecture and compliment and highlight the interiors as well as supplying practical lighting for the 400 plus conferences, presentations, meetings, parties and diversity of other events staged there every year,” explained Ramon.
Everyone, including owner Jan van Eck and the raft of regular DeFabrique clients, is delighted with the results.