Case study – Reflex partners with Hotel La Tour to create city centre luxury20 March 2013
Recently opened in Birmingham city centre, the luxury Hotel La Tour is set to revolutionise the way people interact in the city, mixing contemporary design with cutting-edge technology. As a new building, Hotel La Tour had several meeting and executive board rooms with an AV requirement. The solution needed to not only provide the practical necessity of AV but reflect the hotel’s ambition to be leading edge in its design and technology. The hotel’s clients are predominately business people who are holding and attending local, national or international meetings or training events. Ease of functionality was a key objective. The hotel wanted clients to be able to just plug in their laptops and connect to the technology without fuss, or to video conference across the world without wasting time. Access to all functionality was to be at the touch of a screen – along with control of the room environment including temperature, blinds and lighting. Reflex was chosen as the integrator because Hotel La Tour needed a company they could rely on that could work alongside a main construction contractor, and who could deliver quality systems to a high standard within a luxurious hotel.@page_break@The solution The installation involved fitting out four conference rooms, four meeting rooms, a bespoke video conferencing suite as well as a bar, café and breakout area. Systems throughout are AMX controlled. This allows large rooms to be split into two and have independent functionality. AMX touch panels in each room mean the presenter can control the equipment and environment from one place. By using similar equipment in each room, presenters who are using more than one room are familiar with the controls. Within the conference room, Christie LWU505 projectors and ceiling-recessed screens are installed. The professional audio system includes lapel and hand-held microphones plus Ecler ceiling speakers and amplifier for sound reinforcement.
The four smaller meeting rooms have LG 47-in LCD displays mounted on the walls, and boundary layer microphones for induction loops. The Video Conference Suite features a Polycom VC system, camera and two LG 47-in LCD displays. As well as providing a facility for internal use and business guests, these facilities are also hired out independently. The breakout area features a similar LG 47-in display upon which IPTV content is shown. A central ‘communications’ room houses the racks holding the equipment for the entire hotel’s AV system, as there was not space for them in each area where the AV systems reside. This resulted in a huge amount of cabling – almost 10 miles of it.@page_break@One of the most innovative products installed was the C-Burn music library system with an Ecler audio set up. Designed for the leisure industry, it allows the easy management of music within different areas of the hotel. The system allows different ‘moods’ and volume of music to be scheduled according to the time of day and location. The Bar and Gym have sub woofers for a more upbeat and energetic ambience. Hotel La Tour receives 40 new music tracks a month, automatically downloaded. Effective project management was essential on this development. Reflex project manager Matthew Hunt was allocated to the installation because of his experience in working alongside main contractors. He worked closely with the contractors on the build, providing detailed information including mechanical and electrical drawings to ensure the project could be successfully delivered. He also ensured that AV teams were on site at the right time and co-ordinated with all other trades teams and with the IT director at the hotel, Julie King. Key considerations included the finish of the installed devices and the ease of use for the clients. Audio system performance was also very important.@page_break@The resultsAccording to Julie King: “We were allocated a great project manager from Reflex who helped us decide on the final solution. The construction company changed the timelines for the build and Reflex was very accommodating with rescheduling engineers and meeting our new timescales. The result is a fantastic state-of-the-art meeting floor concept with the latest technologies, which really helps us sell the hotel.” www.reflex.co.uk