Education City, Doha, Qatar

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Education City on the outskirts of Doha, Qatar, is one of the main centres for educational excellence in the Middle East, housing academic facilities ranging from primary schools to research laboratories. The complex aims to prepare students for a future not only in industries important to the Gulf region, but also in music, theatre and the arts and, as such, contains a number of performance halls for which J&C Joel provided Acoustic Motorised Concertina Banners, over 8,000 square metres of stage dressings and Front of House Curtains.

A variable acoustic environment was established within Education City’s Halls One and Two through the installation of 114 Acoustic Motorised Concertina Banners. The units were installed behind decorative steel mesh panelling and were manufactured to meet stringent sound and operational criteria. The concertina banners were manufactured  using over 2,500 square metres of Tay Wool Serge (WS097) with a single speed self sustaining gearbox, a motor unit with double brakes and a drive shaft with a pair of keyed nylon ball-raced pulleys. Running from these ball raced pulleys are a pair of Kevlar bands that pass through a series of aluminium slats used to hold the Tay Wool Serge in place and terminate at a bottom tray.

With a width of 1.5 metres and ranging between 8.8 metres and 11 metres in height, the banners allow the acoustics of the venue to be changed as required to suit any performance. The banners are raised and lowered with pinpoint accuracy using a computerised control system and encoders built into each unit.

For the stages in Halls One, Two and Three over 80 curtains were manufactured from black Heavy Velvet Velour (VELH001). These included Front of House Curtains made with 50% fullness and lined with black Bolton Twill  (BT005), the largest of which measured 30 metres wide with a 12 metre drop.

A full complement of stage masking curtains, borders, legs, travellers and flat panels for the rear of the stages were manufactured from the same black Heavy Velvet Velour (VELH001) and lined with black Bolton Twill (BT005). Each curtain was headed with both tab hooks and tie tapes to allow either track or bar fixing.

To complete the installation a number of twin white front/rear Projection Screens (PVC055) were installed, including a Cyclorama Projection Screen measuring 14m by 12m which provides a flexible backdrop for any performance.