The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki is New Zealand's oldest established and largest public art gallery. Opened in February 1888, the gallery has increasingly become a focal point of Auckland's art scene, and now lies at the heart of the New Zealand art experience for both the local community and visitors alike. Major restoration and expansion work completed in 2011, totalling $121 million, has transformed the building into a world-class cultural facility.
Jpro and Provision worked together to provide a networked audio system as part of the AV upgrade. The original specification was for an all in one AV & Fire/EVAC networked system. After much consultation it was deemed prudent to install a standalone AV system to provide better redundancy.
Stephen Ward project manager and lead designer for the project comments "This project was unique, in that two of the buildings we were cabling were Heritage Buildings over 100 years old, and not linked, while demolition and construction continued around us. I was able to draw from my knowledge and experience from working and maintaining similar heritage sites in the UK, such as the Royal Society of Art and Tait Britain to assist with the planning and implementation of this project, allowing me the insight and understanding as to how the client would ideally use the spaces.” With the project being completed in stages the ability to link areas could only be completed once all construction was done.
One of the design challenges was to provide an audio network with up to 25 discrete zones and over 100 patchable inputs (4 per zone), as well as a separate BGM and Paging level control per zone. Each of the 25 Zones then needed the flexibility to be virtually patched to any combination of other zones. And then just to make life interesting, the main control for these zones was to be placed on a wireless Crestron touchscreen so that the venue technician could roam the gallery and make patching and level alterations as required.
Fortunately the BSS London BLU-100 range of signal processors with built in 48 Channel Digital Bus gave them the flexibility that they required to make this work within their tight budget. Stephen continues "The audio was of high importance due to the changing nature of the open spaces in the art gallery and varying exhibitions and the use of the London Soundweb DSP in conjunction with a Crestron control system allowed us complete flexibility in its design and linking. This provides the ability to expand the AV systems in a modular way and meet the users ever changing needs.”
Provision went about installing 10 Soundweb BLU-100’s between the five AV plant rooms. An audio network was setup between the plant rooms using fibre optic cable which linked the forty eight channel digital audio network and Ethernet control. Every room also had Crestron wireless access points, which enabled compete network coverage of the Crestron tablet. Crestron and Soundweb London integrate extremely well together with BSS being an integrated partner.
The mammoth task of mapping the level controls from 10 different Soundweb DSP began. Logan Bent programmer for Provision with 15 years’ experience and dozens of existing projects involving BSS Audio and Crestron went about the task of integrating the two systems. Logan comments "The actual programming was relatively straight forward once a clear scope of works and client discussions in developing the interface were conducted. The most time consuming component during implementation and commissioning was the grand scale of the project. The greatest challenge with the interface was coming up with a way to overflow any of the inputs to any of the output zones. Along with that a simple way to disable a certain link was needed.”
After the cabling was complete the hardware installation commenced with JBL Speakers being a focal point of the design and a prominent yet discrete feature of the building. In keeping with the Architects vision within the context of an iconic Art Gallery, very low profile discrete speakers were required. In total over 250 JBL speakers were installed throughout this complex including Control 26CT, Control 24C, AC28-95, Control SB-210, Control50ST, Control 25AV, Control42C speakers.
Installed by ProVision: Established in 1999 ProVision is one of the largest dedicated Audio/Visual Companies in the North Island of New Zealand, they pride themselves on being a full solutions provider and delivering quality installations and products www.provision.co.nz
Design, programming and commissioning support by Jpro
About Jpro: Established in 1988, Jpro is a specialist distributor of world leading audio brands in New Zealand. Jpro Ltd proudly represents the Harman Pro Brands including JBL, AKG, Crown, BSS, HiQnet, dbx, Lexicon Soundcraft, Studer and Ampetronic Hearing Assist / Induction Loop products.