The Scandic Grand Central Helsinki recently opened its doors for the first time, and boasts comprehensive Genelec sound system designed and installed by Finnish AV systems specialists, Murea Oy.
Murea installed a total of twenty-eight Genelec 4030 installation loudspeakers and two powerful 4040s across a total of 17 meeting and event facilities of varying sizes – plus the bar area that required a sound system capable of handling everything from low level background music to high-energy DJ sets. A pair of compact 4030 loudspeakers – usually either side of the screen – was deployed in each of the smaller conference rooms whilst the Grand Ballroom has a pair of the powerful 4040s for music, speech and presentations.
“We decided on the 4000 Series as they are particularly integrator-friendly,” said Kristian Sahenkari, partner and key account manager at Murea. “Their active design with on-board amplification removes the need for bulky external amplifier racks and simplifies cabling for a cleaner installation. The extensive range of mounting accessories was also a big help when designing speaker positions, particularly for the meeting facilities situated on the second floor of the hotel, which have been preserved in their original form. Genelec had the right product for every situation.”
The entire AV system, which spreads across three floors, is centrally managed and processed. Two auxiliary racks were installed for the I/Os as the signal paths are mostly digital via Dante.
“Genelec definitely ticked all the boxes for this installation,” concluded Sahenkari. “It’s a high quality Finnish brand built according to sustainable principles; an extremely important point for Scandic in light of their strong commitment to sustainability. Additionally, the timeless design of Genelec loudspeakers and their ability to deliver crystalline audio quality for decades to come made them the perfect choice. Everyone is happy.”
Housed in an imposing Art Nouveau building that was formerly the head office of Finland’s national railway company, the listed building has undergone a meticulous two-year transformation that retains much of the glamour and grand proportions of a bygone age combined with every modern comfort. Scandic Grand Central Helsinki is now also the first hotel building in the world to achieve the prestigious LEEDv4 Platinum rating for the project phase of its development. The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certificate covers a wide range of themes in sustainable construction, and the platinum rating is the highest possible.
Sahenkari notes that the historical significance of the building and the preservation of its former glory was a key element in the transformation from HQ to hotel. “The building has a long history, and part of our brief was that this should be preserved as much as possible. The installation therefore had to be planned extremely carefully from the outset as the Finnish Heritage Agency had to approve all the installation methods.”