UniCredit’s new headquarters, in the tallest tower in Italy, displays the bank’s commitment to the latest multimedia technology. Mike Clark reports.
UniCredit is a leading European commercial bank with an international network spanning 50 markets, almost 8,700 branches and 149,000 employees. The Group operates in 17 European countries, but its origins date back over five centuries to the establishment of Rolo Banca in 1473; more recently, UniCredit was the result of the merger of nine of Italy’s largest banks and the subsequent combination with the German HVB Group and Italy’s Capitalia group.
UniCredit Tower, the group’s new headquarters, is a three-building complex in the Porta Nuova area of Milan that includes the tallest tower in Italy (230m), designed by Argentinian architect Cesar Pelli and built by Hines Italia SGR. Extremely energy efficient, UniCredit Tower has received LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council and was in the Emporis Skyscraper Awards 2012 top 10.
The group’s commitment to the use of the latest multimedia technology for both its customer services and in-house operations is reflected in three key areas of the complex: the Boardroom, the Committee Room and the Tower Hall (a meeting room/auditorium). All three are concentrations of leading-edge technology and design, as are the meeting rooms in all three towers (one on almost every floor).
AV, lighting and multimedia specialist CM Srl of Novara was the consultancy for the project’s multimedia technology, as owner Claudio Mazzucchelli explains: “We’d already worked with UniCredit in the past on several projects, such as the UniManagement training centre in Turin. We were initially involved in the UniCredit Tower project in 2007 when, on behalf of Ariatta Ingegneria dei Sistemi Srl Milan, we began designing the buildings’ evac and voice alarm system. When UniCredit moved in, Giovanni Raimondi, president of Telesystems Professional (Busto Arsizio – Varese), an installer that specialises in the AV multimedia field, contacted us to design all the multimedia systems in the complex – Tower Hall, Boardroom and Committee Room – for which I was audio/video consultant.
“One of the distinguishing features of the 29th floor boardroom is its incredible aesthetic and architectural integration and implementation of leading-edge technologies for interfacing and control of content with tablets and light pens, as well as the projections’ high visual impact.”
The Boardroom’s lighting design features 19 Kap 145 recessed spotlights and two USO 900 recessed cove lights, all by Flos. The 22 custom suspension units, which follow the lines of the impressive custom steel and leather ‘Astroganga’ table, are integrated with 88 custom spotlights by Viabizzuno and 15m of LED strip, which form a band of light in the floor at the centre of the table. Each place at the table has a touch-sensitive button controlling a light in the ceiling (also custom designed), ensuring illumination is precise and efficient as well as very scenographic, and avoiding light spill on the wall projections.
The futuristic room has a redundant DIS conference system comprising two CU 6011 central units, SZ 6104 switcher and PS 6000 DCS/LAN power kit. An MU 6040C custom chairman mic unit and 43 MU 6040D custom delegate units are equipped with GM-6622 gooseneck mics. In-room audio comprises 12 Meyer Sound MM4 compact speakers and four Apart Sublime subwoofers, powered by two Biamp MCA 8150 power amps and controlled by two Biamp AudiaFLEX CM matrixes and a Yamaha LS9-15 console.
Four DIS IS 6132 32-channel interpreter units with BPHS1D headset/mics enable board members to follow foreign contributions thanks to Listen Technologies’ IR simultaneous translation system with 44 receivers.
Video content is screened on the curved walls behind attendees’ chairs with a pair of projectiondesign F22 1080 projectors with dedicated Calibre warp processors. Video coverage is courtesy of eight Panasonic AW-HE60SE all-in-one cameras controlled via an AW-RP120 controller and mixed by an AV-HS410E.
The Committee room is equipped with a DIS digital conference system with 14 conference units/mics, Biamp-powered Apart speakers, Audio-Technica wireless handheld and headset mics and ListenTechnologies’ IR simultaneous translation system with 28 receivers. Illumination is via 11 Elite LED trimless recessed ceiling fixtures and six 75cm x 200 cm Flying Surface fluorescent luminaires by Jean Nouvel.
Regarding the Tower Hall’s key features, Mazzucchelli continues: “The room has a high-impact four-projector video set-up with edge-blending and top-grade audio quality.”
Video content is projected via four full HD-ready Panasonic PT-DZ10KE 12,000-lumen projectors, aligned with soft edge-blending to cover a screen area of 12m x 2m. Up to 10 windows can be opened in any part of the screen with contributions fed into the system (PC, DVD, Blu-ray, cameras or videoconference). Distribution and processing is based on an Extron XTP1600 modular digital matrix switcher and includes a TV One CORIOmaster videowall processor.
Coverage and recording of events held in the room is handled by six all-in-one Panasonic cameras (four AW-HE120WEJ HD cameras and a pair of AW-HE60SE pan/tilt models).
The impressive control room hosts a Panasonic AV-HS410EJ video mixer and two AW-RP655L camera controllers; other video hardware includes a TV One FC-677 3G/SDI converter, an Extron SMX 88 HD-SDI 3G/SDI matrix switcher, two Datavideo DAC-50 downscalers and two Panasonic DVD recorders.
Connectivity is ensured by four Extron XTP T USW 103 HDMI and VGA transmitters, two Extron DA 4 HDMI buffers, four Extron XTP R HDMI receivers, two Crystall wireless receiver kits, a Barco ClickShare wireless kit and two Extron XTP T HDMI transmitters.
The room’s Meyer Sound set-up features six UPJ1P front speakers, two USW1P subwoofers and 10 MM4 recessed speakers. Audio is mixed on a Yamaha LS9-32 digital console and processed via two Biamp AudiaFLEX CM matrixes. The Sennheiser microphones include seven EM2050 receivers, 10 SK2000 body packs, four MKE 2 omnidirectional capsules, six MKE 40 cardioid capsules and six SKM2000 handheld mics.
The DIS simultaneous translation system, based on a DIS 6110, includes four IS 6132 consoles, four BPHS1D headset/mics, two RA 6013 IR radiators, a DT 6008 IR transmitter, and 50 DR6008 receivers with DH6021H headphones.
Event lighting features eight ETC D22 LED luminaires, nine Rosco Miro Cubes and seven DeSisti Leonardo LED Fresnels, controlled via a Cue ELITE-A-12, a relayCUE-8, two iPads, a Crestron MC3 control system, DIN-DALI-2 interface and CGDMX-512BI external interface with two custom touch PCs for control.
Mazzucchelli continues: “All the complex is interfaced with the evac system and the background music management system.”
Voice alarm system
Five IDA4SW units and 13 IDA4SWS slave units are the basis of the impressive Ateis stackable voice alarm system. The set-up also includes six evac boards (each able to provide the system with 32 digital alarm inputs), 64 IDA4SU fault back and 100V line switching units, and 15 PSS96DT touchscreens with programmable and monitored security and paging microphones.
Processing and connectivity is courtesy of Biamp. The system consists of six AudiaFLEX CM digital signal processors with 44 Audia IP2 dual-channel input cards and 12 OP2 dual-channel output cards, 14 AudiaFUSION MF networked amplified processors with 60 AudiaFUSION AM-600 amplifier module cards and six Logic Boxes, each with 20 programmable logic connections.
There are also six Biamp NPS1 network paging stations and six InOut S01 audio file players with solid-state memory.
Messages come over loud and clear throughout the complex, thanks to 1152 Penton RCS5FTS ceiling speakers and 1,087 Apart loudspeakers (H2OG weatherproof horn units, MP16-G for the buildings sound projectors and SDQ3TW two-way models).
Mazzucchelli enthuses: “The evac system is extremely flexible, and when any changes are made to the rooms’ fit-out, thanks to the Biamp matrices, the system can be reconfigured without any additional costs.”
Acoustic and electro-acoustic work was greatly facilitated thanks to Marcello Brugola, who had the task of establishing acoustic requisites, designing and testing building sound mitigation and acoustic insulation systems, protection from vibrations caused by the underground trains and analysis of mechanical systems’ noise.
Commissioned by Hines Italia and Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects for acoustic consultation for the buildings’ design, Brugola of Lissone (Milan) is an acknowledged acoustics expert, specialising among other things in environmental and architectural acoustics and vibration, with numerous prestigious collaborations and technical publications to his credit.
The Samsung digital signage (approximately 200 displays) used throughout was purchased directly by the client and the related audio system, spec’d by CM, includes 28 WORKproCA CS6T ceiling speakers with ‘Whizzer’ cone for extended HF response, 113 WORKproCA CS60T ceiling speakers, 15 Yamaha VS4 two-way plus bass reflex speakers and 31 Yamaha YST SW 012 subwoofers. A total of 34 Yamaha AV network receivers are also installed (27 RX-V375 and seven RX-V475 units).
Mazzucchelli concludes: “My heartfelt thanks go to Marcello Brugola and the entire UniCredit project team – co-ordination was really impeccable.”
Picture: Gruppo C14