A/V: Celebrating A/V 2008

One Haworth Center, Holland, Mich. When your client is Haworth, the furniture and workspace experts, you can bet that they will keep an eye on A/V integration. Perkins Will and Eva Maddox leaned on their integrators to make sure that any equipment blends seamlessly into the spaces. The atrium is dotted with "organic workspaces" that allow for impromptu meetings with complete access to Haworth's central content server.

STATS Sports Restaurant, Atlanta STATS in Atlanta had 150 technicians working through the night to get it ready for opening day (115 wires had to be pulled, terminated, and connected). AVI-SPL, the integrators from Tampa, Fla., were brought in well after the electrician, a problem when clean power has to drive 72 displays plus a boatload of other components. They used power conditioners on each screen, saving the electrician from having to rewire the entire building, though at a cost. Showing sports, though, is easy compared with making a broadcaster or even background music audible. Using a 15-zone audio system that senses the ambient noise in each area, the integrators created a system that adjusts the volume in each zone accordingly now, thats smart technology.

U.S.M.C. Forces Pacific Headquarters Command Operations Center, Honolulu Mission critical may be an understatement for the Marines at these 35 desks. Audio Video Systems (AVS) designed and built the desks to outfit the pre-World War II space to meet post-9/11 needs. Technicians can pull data from a variety of sources and feed it to the 32-foot screen, allowing the Marines to follow leads as a team and update information on the fly. Using six projectors and a processor that blends the edges, AVS overcame the short 50-foot distance between screen and projector without sacrificing quality or having to modify the building.

Illinois House and Senate Chambers, Springfield, Ill. Illinois was turning the clock back on its capitol by restoring everything to its 1870s design--complicated enough without throwing in a modern sound and video system. Vinci Hamp Architects tapped Jeffrey Lipp to consult on the A/V system, which they sought to hide in the restored chambers. They succeeded in making the space look like 1870 (save the large LCD screens) while meeting the 2008 needs of the legislature. One of Lipp's tricks: When a senator hits the "Speak" button on his panel, the system focuses a camera on him and turns on his microphone, all automatically. Watch out, C-SPAN.

Adopt A Room, Minneapolis When Perkins Will started work on the Adopt A Room prototype for pediatric hospitals, the architects brought the A/V team in from the start. Working with Graybow Communications Group, they created a room entirely controlled by three touchscreens, which can show the child’s chart and info—allowing a nurse to check in without entering the room. The mounted television screens can show a rooftop camera, a gaming system, cable, and DVDs, all in the hope that small diversions can make the hospital visit a little easier. Lighting was another key factor in the design, giving the patient a full spectrum of colors at the touch of a screen.

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