Kenwood – Mix of triple-Divisible Auditorium and New Experience Centre

When Kenwood completed the construction of a new Experience Centre at their head office site in Havant, they brought in Reflex to help specify and implement the audio visual facilities. The Centre includes a product showroom, a training kitchen, several meeting spaces and a cafeteria all designed to bring more people in and to familiarise them more with Kenwood’s products.
We worked closely with Kenwood to integrate technology that met their brief with special consideration to compliment the architect’s designs. The results met all Kenwood’s expectations and the project was delivered on time and within the original budget. A support package is now in place around their business critical areas providing them with peace of mind that the facilities will continue to perform to their best.

Each facility within the Experience Centre each presented its own audio visual challenge:

The Auditorium – Divisible into Training Rooms
The Academy
Meeting Rooms
The Cafeteria
The Auditorium – Divisible into Training Rooms

Kenwood created a large space capable of hosting an audience of over 150 for large company briefings, where senior executives (local or remote) could address all staff, and for other large events. This space splits down into three separate rooms (side by side) which are used for regular local training sessions and internal meetings often with video conferencing links.

Divisible rooms always pose unique challenges both for presentation of images suitable for all audiences and especially for audio coverage and doubly so when integrating video conferencing. The systems implemented at Kenwood have met the challenges exceptionally well.

Image – The centre room of the three features a 4-metre wide projected display, large enough and bright enough to provide the main image when opened out into the full auditorium; while the side rooms each have 80” flat panel displays which act as main displays when the rooms are divided and repeater screens in the auditorium. These 80” displays are mounted on mobile trolleys housing all associated VC, switching and control equipment with just a single ‘umbilical’ power/data cable to connect to different wall plate or floor box positions appropriate to the group size in any training session or internal meeting.

All three rooms offer high resolution wired and wireless connections for BYOD as well as resident systems for videoconferencing links to Kenwood offices around the world.

Audio – Special thought was applied to the voice re-enforcement system to allow each member of the audience to experience the same level of clear and crisp audio wherever they sit. A selection of lapel and hand-held microphones allow users flexibility based on their personal preference and all audio levels are carefully set up to suit each room configuration and type of session.

Control – a touch-screen controller allows a user with no experience of the system to simply select from a number of pre-set room configurations and to select what is shown on-screen. Once the rooms are divided, the side rooms have their own touch-button controls to switch between audio and video sources.

Success and Resultant Cost Savings – These rooms have proved exceptionally successful both in the ability to deliver company-wide briefings but more-so in the cost savings to Kenwood by bringing training and other events in-house where previously they would have incurred room hire and catering charges from local hotels (delegates now use the Kenwood cafeteria).

The Academy

The academy is a teaching environment designed to allow members of the public to attend cooking master classes at purpose-built cooking stations and using Kenwood appliances with a guest chef demonstrating the different techniques that can be used to get the best out of each appliance.

The challenge here was to subtly introduce AV systems that would allow the students to follow everything the chef does and says.

We installed a pan tilt and zoom camera linked to two large screen displays with video pre-sets accessed using via a touch screen, allowing the chef to simply switch between close-ups of his/her hands at work, or zoomed out perspectives capturing all elements of the presentation. A lapel mic picks up all the chef’s instructions and distributes through discreet wall mounted speakers so they are crystal clear throughout the kitchen area.

The camera image and chef commentary is also routed to another screen and speakers above the counter in the onsite retail shop attracting more shoppers to sign up for the cooking courses.

Meeting Rooms

We installed 55” interactive touch screens along with cameras and ceiling mics in a range of different internal rooms used for presentations and Google Hangout sessions; as with all Kenwood’s facilities, these are always kept in perfect condition and in constant use.

The Cafeteria

We also installed signage screens around the cafeteria promoting Kenwood products and courses and acting as menu boards.

Overall, the Academy presented Reflex with a number of issues to overcome including bespoke ceiling architecture, changeable atmospheric conditions and often poor acoustics in a noisy environment. Each problem was addressed and as an opportunity to design a bullet proof solution that was flexible enough to cope with the demands of the space.

Stuart Keir who worked closely with Reflex throughout the project is extremely pleased with the results and the quality of work from the install team involved. “I was very impressed with the work ethic and neatness of all the Reflex installation engineers and their ‘always find a way’ approach”.