Luxury audio at the Edelweiss Hotel
Integrator K-E-B accomplished an extraordinary feat of integration at the Edelweiss Hotel
in the Bavarian Alps, providing the equipment, IT system and security in a robust and reliable
package for guests to enjoy at the luxurious mountain-side hotel. Reece Webb finds out more.
The newly updated and expanded Edelweiss Hotel is a popular tourist destination for skiing in the winter and hiking during the summertime, offering a large wellness centre for rest and relaxation.
The mountain retreat was subject to a comprehensive €42 million refurbishment, with Austrian integrator K-E-B and AV distributor Tremtec AV brought on to the project to assist the consultant E+ Engineering with design and implementation.
Stefan Höllwerth, head of development and programming,K-E-B, explained: “We got involved through a tender process. We got the chance to talk with the customer after the pricing phase and I think that's how we convinced them to go with our concept.
“We worked with E+Engineering and Tremtec AV so we had the chance to bring our own ideas with them to work out a good system for the customer.
The Edelweiss hotel required a system that worked on the large ground floor area as Höllwerth explained: “It’s important for the hotel to have an intelligible system as once a week they hold a greeting event for the new arriving guests.
“They have a big seminar room which can be separated into three parts. It was really important for them that it is easy for everyone to use."
K-E-B’s involvement was to deliver both AV and IT technologies. More than 20 technical rooms are featured onsite, with technical rooms on every floor containing racks for equipment management. Höllwerth: “We did the IT system: the network, WiFi, the security such as the video surveillance system and the telephone system as well as tablets. They don’t have normal phones in the rooms, they wanted to use tablets and they wanted to be able to make phone calls with the tablets.”
A feeling of belonging was key to the audio design as Höllwerth clarified: “If a customer enters the parking lot, they wanted the customer to already feel at home.“It starts with the sound when they enter the building and it should be one concept because they have a sound brand company which do the branding for different sounds,so they wanted to achieve a homely feeling.
K-E-B installed 500 speakers as part of a 48-zone Audac SourceCon modular audio system throughout the hotel in a variety of areas, including two seminar rooms, multiple restaurants and terrace areas as well as a bar area and saunas.
A range of Audac speakers and electronics were installed, using a variety of speaker models inside as well as outside for the swimming pool areas and terrace. In the outside areas, WX502_O loudspeakers were used, especially chosen for their rugged, weather-resistant performance, with outside temperatures dropping down to-20°C in the winter.
A project of this size also required a titanic amount of cabling, with the cabling for the intercom system to the swimming pool clocking in at an astonishing 700 metres long. The cables were implemented using Procab cables and an Audac fibre optic electronic kit which was used to connect the four different technical rooms to each other.
The project was split into two parts, with K-E-B facing time constraints on such a large site, with work stopping and starting as Höllwerth explained: “The project took about one year to complete because work started in summer and they had to stop the construction because the hotel had to be open for the winter season. We had to finish in December and started again in April. It was really tough to be on time because some of the building process was behind schedule.We had no time for mistakes,and we had to be quick.
“The hotel is built into the mountain and they had to blast a bit of it away to get extra space.They were building eight floors in total. In the first phase of the installation, we worked on the first three floors. Floors five to eight were being built while the hotel was operating.
Apple iPads, programmed by K-E-B, are used throughout the site for control of telecoms, room service and for guest information in the guest’s rooms. The AudacTouch 2 app is used to control the AV system, using Kramer control to connect the Audac music system to the KNX lighting interface.
The iPads also enable‘scenes’ such as the guest welcoming scene in the lobby.The lobby area features an Optoma ZH506T projector used for the guest welcoming ceremony. This is accomplished by enabling a ‘scene’ on the iPad which switches on Audio-Technica ATW2120 microphones.The audio inputs are then changed as the projector and screen are powered on.
"It was really tough to be on time because some of the building process was behind schedule. We had no time for mistakes,and we had to be quick." - Stefan Höllwerth, K-E-B
Höllwerth: “We programmed a system for them. As the hotel is so large, they had to find away to reach colleagues, so we programmed a system to phone and use a messaging system to check room statuses.
“We made another system that allows users to control the lights.At reception, they can set the room settings for guests to arrive which changes the light settings for a ‘welcome’ scene.”
The project was not without its challenges, having to manage an efficient and intelligible system with the hotel’s requirements for a subtle, unobtrusive installation.
Höllwerth: “The biggest space we worked in was the lobby area, it was one big open space.Sometimes it was difficult for us to meet the design requirements because they didn't want to see the loudspeakers, it took sometime for us to find the space and install them discretely.
"There are ceilings that are shining black that almost look like a mirror and it can be hard to mount the speakers, because if you damage the ceiling, you have a problem.”
Despite the difficulties,K-E-B was able to finish the project on time and on budget, creating a system that is simultaneously easy to use, providing the coverage and control that the Edelweiss hotel needed in an efficient and discrete manner.
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Audio-Technica ATW2120 microphones