Sound financial decisions

AUTHOR: Inavate

How can a boardroom be used for a wide variety of purposes while maintaining excellent speech intelligibility and acoustics for all of them? Nial Anderson sees how Danish integrator Stouenborg achieved this goal.

A simple glance at the newly refurbished boardroom of the Jyske Bank in Denmark reveals an attitude and approach not typical of a ?nancial institution. With its warmth and vibrancy of colour, lighting and design, the room looks more like something you would find in a creative media agency in California than a bank in Europe.

The bank was already using the building in Silkeborg and integrator Stouenborg’s brief was to turn a room on the top floor which had been used as a classroom for the bank’s IT staff into a modern conference room and auditorium.

“I met with the client in the summer and we started off by talking about how people in a boardroom can communicate,” said Anders Jørgensen, a partner at Stouenborg.
“We looked at how problematic communication can become in an environment like a boardroom when you need to use it for many different things.
“You have a long table because you need all these members to hear each other, but on the other hand you would like smaller tables for group discussions and presentation areas and sofa lounges to have business conversations in more relaxed and comfortable ways.
“But you can’t have variable acoustics in a room like this either because it’s too difficult to do manually or too expensive by using drapes. So we came up with the idea with Meyer Sound that its Constellation system could probably be used as a combination of a lot of systems.”
He added: “The client said his dream was that nobody would notice the system unless they looked up at the microphones and speakers and wondered what they were for.”

Jørgensen explained that while Meyer Sound’s Constellation system had been used in restaurants, sports venues and concert halls, it had never been used in such a small environment with the aim of delivering a variety of purposes. The Constellation system was deployed here to ensure reflected sound contributes to, and does not detract from overall speech intelligibility in the room no matter what purpose it is being used for.

The system installed in Jyske Bank consists of 25 DPA microphones installed across the ceiling of the boardroom, alongside 64 speakers with an equal distance between one another so they are spread out across the whole room. The microphones capture the direct signal from the voices in the room and, with the help of acoustic treatments, sound reflections are optimised for what the room is being used for. The DPA microphones are among 25 types Meyer Sound has hand-selected for use with Constellation out of 200 that were initially trialled.

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