Shuttlesound is in the final stages of one of its largest hotel installations, the audio component of a complete integrated hotel-wide AV system for the latest opening in the Grange Hotels chain, the Grange St Paul’s Hotel in the city of London. The project has demanded over £1/4 million of Electro-Voice professional sound reinforcement products, including an extensive networked audio solution and two complete line-array systems for the main conference facilities, installed and programmed by Kingdom Services.
Grange Hotels is London's leading independent luxury hotel group. Rob Goodings, Director of Technical Services, has already confirmed that Shuttlesound and Electro-Voice will supply the next development in the company’s busy roll-out programme, the Grange Tower Hotel, adjacent to the Tower of London.
“I am delighted with the results at the Grange St Paul’s,” says Goodings. “I like to surround myself with professionals and, from the top down, Shuttlesound gave me that – serious expertise while keeping a mindful eye on the budget. The equipment is brilliant, accompanied by a flexible business attitude that is all about getting the job done.”
From the hotel’s planning stages in summer 2008, Rob Goodings worked closely with Shuttlesound’s David Howe, and installation contractor John Smith of Kingdom Services, who coordinated the entire project. “This gave us an excellent design opportunity,” commented Howe. “John Smith and I had an open brief to specify a complete integrated solution, installing a Cobranet-enabled digital audio network infrastructure that penetrated through every area of the hotel, from the sub-ground level conference rooms right up to the rooftop terrace.”
Howe, Smith and Goodings based their design on the EV NetMax digital audio system controller, 10 units of which manage the amplifiers and loudspeaker units spread throughout ten floors of the hotel. “By choosing NetMax, Grange has acquired the very latest technology providing us with a modular, expandable system,” says Goodings. “Whatever changes or improvements are made to the hotel in years to come, the audio facilities can be easily amended to suit. This is future-proofing of the highest order. Our objective was to put in the best equipment that money can buy, and thus obviate the need for our clients to outsource anything. Having a complete AV package like this creates revenue for the hotel; it’s proving to be a great business model too and and the system should pay for itself within a year.”
The audio system specification was able to stay within the Electro-Voice range for all applications, from the EviD compact speakers in the bars and restaurants to the QRx212/XSub system designated for the hotel’s nightclub. There are EV loudspeakers in the health centre and around the swimming pool, in the Skybar and on the breathtaking roof terrace that offers stunning views of St Paul’s Cathedral.
But it is the Grange St Paul’s impressive dedicated conference floors that really benefit from all this technology. The extensive Conference and Events Centre is designed for optimal flexibility, spread over two levels and capable of accommodating up to 2000 delegates for exhibitions and presentations. The innovatively designed events space offers a variety of configuration options via its moveable walls, expanding to a single large auditorium if required.
The Wren Room, capacity 900, can be opened up to the Shakespeare Room, to create a 1200-capacity space, offering not one but two Electro-Voice line-array sound systems, 6500 lumen HD projectors, 65” HD plasma screens and digitally-controlled LED lighting. In the larger Wren Room, an EV XLD compact line array has been installed in a L/C/R configuration, with a separate stereo EV XLE ultra-compact line array in the Shakespeare – these systems can operate individually, or together to provide an awesome 5.1 surround system for the full auditorium.
Power for all the loudspeakers is delivered by EV amplifiers – CP3000S and CP4000S for the auditorium line array enclosures, and PA Series for all the EviDs distributed throughout the hotel. Although a large number of the amplifiers are located in a centralised equipment room, thanks to NetMax and the audio network, it’s just as easy to access the amps that are located in several remote racks for areas such as the health centre, spa and nightclub. “NetMax offers a one-box solution, providing all the EQ, routing and supervision, and enabling central control, which is a major benefit when it comes to managing a system of this size,” says Goodings.
Summarising his experience at the Grange St Paul’s, and looking forward, Goodings says, “this is the first install I’ve done where we’ve started with such a blank canvas, although in the case of St Paul’s, the building was already designed. With the same team, and the same audio template, I can predict that the next one – at The Grange Tower Hotel – will be yet another perfect result!”