New World Center, winner Best Arts AV Project

There’s an old saw (at least in today’s professional audio/video industry) that the first remodeler to enter a new building is often the AV integrator. What happens is, the owner looks over the blank slate that is his new building and thinks how nice it would be to have a floor-to-ceiling videowall in the lobby, or a digital signage network throughout the elevator banks, or a sound system that allows tenants to partition meeting areas into smaller rooms with their own audio.

What few recognize until the AV integrator arrives on the scene is that the building—or parts of it—were not designed to support the high-tech AV systems that the owner would like installed. The walls can’t support a huge videowall, for example. Or wiring conduit wasn’t run to the locations where the owner would like to hang flat-panel displays for wayfinding or advertising. Or no one thought to factor in a ventilated equipment closet to hold racks of audio processors and amplifiers.

These are the types of things an AV consultant or integrator can bring up at the beginning of a building’s design process in order to ensure that the final product can support all the audiovisual bells and whistles that people have come to expect in their homes, their boardrooms, and everywhere in between. And it’s this collaboration between AV professionals and architects that is the hallmark of the 2011 PRO AV Spotlight Awards.

Presented by the editors of PRO AV and ARCHITECT, and by InfoComm International, the leading nonprofit association serving the professional AV communications industry worldwide, the Spotlight Awards recognize the best professional audio/video installations designed for corporate, education, entertainment, government, and other markets. They range from a seemingly simple storefront window display to a symphony hall with connected outdoor entertainment venue. And the companies that enter them in the competition include consultants, AV integrators, and architects themselves. Click here to meet the winners.