Elite Park Avenue Hotel overhauls conference and banqueting facilities
Fremlab was listed as a finalist in the 2019 InAVation Awards for its work at the Elite Park Avenue Hotel. Anna Mitchell finds out how AV systems were deployed to add value to the conferencing facilities of a prestigious venue.
When the Elite Park Avenue Hotel was built in Gothenburg, Sweden in the 1950s, it was one of the first international luxury hotels to open in the country. It’s evolved over the years with different facilities and upgrades and in 2016 it decided on a massive overhaul of its conferencing and banqueting facilities to coincide with a 1,000 sq m extension.
Helsingborg, Sweden based integrator and rental company Fremlab was drafted directly by the hotel to handle AV systems in the renovated conference and banqueting area and extending out into the newly built restaurant and breakout space.
The grand banqueting space, dominated by a huge chandelier, is divisible into three smaller areas with sliding doors. The new extension was built over two floors; on the ground level is the breakfast restaurant with the breakout space above. The breakout area is used for delegates to mingle, eat and drink, or for small exhibitions or meetings.
The hotel approached Carl-Fredrik Malmgren, owner of Fremlab with a very open request when it came to the AV technology required as part of the upgrade. Malmgren responded with a design that would offer high end technology for conferences, was flexible for widely varying needs and could easily accommodate external technology.
In the divisible banqueting and conferencing space, any combination of rooms can be used, and audio and video feeds can be sent between the spaces or out into the restaurant or breakout space, as well as an overspill area called the Taube Room, located about 30m away. “That meant the infrastructure requirements were quite complex,” said Malmgren.
All audio and video distribution is handled by a Crestron DigitalMedia system. Installing infrastructure into the old parts of the building came with challenges. Malmgren designed the cable routes he would need and handed that over to an electrical contractor but, he says, of course there were still challenges such as cable routes that were not big enough.
“We had to consider visiting technicians bring their own digital consoles and video consoles, so we added multiple connection points with HDMI and DisplayPort inputs,” Malmgren adds. “We have SDI inputs that go into the Crestron DigitalMedia matrix and four additional SDI inputs that go directly into the projectors. This is for guest technicians that have their own video matrix and use SDI as a platform. This has been very well received."
Svetlana Månsson, the conference operations manager at the Elite Park Avenue Hotel, said one of the biggest benefits of the new system was how easy the system is to control. Crestron touchpanels were provided for this purpose. A 10-in Crestron TSW-1060 touchscreen offers the deepest level of control for the main spaces and is generally used by the conference centre staff.
“A duplicate, mirrored panel is located outside the conference room,” says Månsson. “That’s great because we can make changes without having to go inside and disturb the conference.” Three Crestron 7-in TSW-760 touchpanels are provided within the rooms and programmed with simplified control options for use by presenters.
A Bose sound system is installed throughout with Bose ShowMatch arrays – comprising SM5, SM10 and SM20 modules, supported by SM118 subs, in the main banqueting space. DSP is handled by a Bose ControlSpace ESP-1240 engineered sound processor and audio distribution is based on Dante.
The main ShowMatch system is supported by RoomMatch loudspeakers, MB210 compact subwoofers and PowerMatch PM8500 amplifiers. These systems are used individually when the space is subdivided.
A Sennheiser wireless microphone system, comprising four head worn microphones and two hand microphones is provided. “The microphones are really easy to use and don’t require us to change any levels. They just work,” adds Månsson.
An existing Barco projector is still deployed in the banqueting hall when it is used as a one space. However, for conferences in the three divisible areas, three Panasonic PT-RZ970 projectors have been deployed, firing on to Euroscreen projector screens, one measuring 450cm, the other two 350cm. “With the laser projectors, the quality of the projection is noticeably better than we had before,” notes Månsson.
A rack, situated at the rear of the largest banqueting room and where guest technicians usually sit, houses the 16x16 Crestron DigitalMedia Matrix switcher as well as a Crestron CP3 control processor. Bose audio processing kit and wireless microphone transmitters are also housed in the main rack room.
The Taube Room has a similar set up to each of the divisible areas of the main ballroom. Fremlab delivered a Panasonic PT-RZ570 projector, 7-in Crestron touchscreen and Bose RoomMatch sound system supported by a B2 bass module here.
Fremlab also installed 55-in TH-55LF80W commercial LCD panels in the breakout area. Open areas are served with Bose ceiling speakers with a total of 21 DS40F and 33 DS16F loudspeakers installed. The Bose ceiling speaker installation extends into the breakfast room where 18 DS40F units are installed. A Panasonic PT-RZ570 projector was also delivered for the breakfast room. The AV kit here is managed via a 7-in Crestron touchpanel. Finally, Fremlab delivered a portable system for the hotel: a Bose compact L1 PA speaker system as well as a Sennheiser microphone can be used anywhere in the conference centre.
The installation is starting to pay its own way. Månsson says that the simplified control not only delivers a better experience, it reduces the reliance on specialised technicians. Some of the additional AV kit the hotel has invested in can also be used for rental, adding another revenue stream.
Bose ShowMatch array loudspeakers and subs, RoomMatch loudspeakers, MB210 subwoofers, L1 PA speaker, B2 bass module and ceiling speakers
Sennheiser wireless microphone systems
Euroscreen projector screens
Future Automation projector lifts
Panasonic PT-RZ970 and RZ-570 projectors and TH-55LF80W LCD panels
Crestron DigitalMedia system, TSW-1060 and TSW-760 touch screens, CP3 processor