The W Hotel Atlanta Downtown’s lobby entertainment hub had to overcome highly reverberant acoustics and provide equal volume, stereo and intelligible audio over a very wide and complex space, so the loudspeaker systems also had to meet the design aesthetics at the heart of this world-class hospitality brand.
“The W Hotel brand and visitor experience is inspired by the creative worlds of music, film, fashion, art, design and beyond," explains W Hotel brand manager Pablo Andres-Lopez. “A key element of every W Hotel design is the Living Room; a requisite element for W properties worldwide that serves as meeting space, food & drink service area, event space and nightly entertainment venue.”
Toronto interior design company Βurdifilek created an urban oasis within the W Atlanta Downtown Hotel. Designers Diego Burdi and Paul Filek reinterpreted the Living Room as a verdant sanctuary that mimics the lushness of Georgia, while maintaining the brand’s celebrated cosmopolitan edge.
The final architectural design presented acoustic challenges. Three-story glass windows and a polished marble floor made for a highly reverberant space that could not permanently accommodate more than low-volume ceiling speakers. For over seven years, this situation combined with existing speaker technologies, made many of the needs of the Living Room difficult to resolve.
With the recommendation of Tectonic representatives EDA Pro AV and audio/visual provider Atlanta Sound Works, Tectonic was able to provide a real-time demonstration of a proposed solution for this space. Tectonic rolled-in 25-foot lifts to place a pair of PL-12 flat panel Resonant Mode Loudspeakers into very nearly their final locations.
"Unlike traditional speaker systems that produce pistonic and highly correlated audio energy that reacts with boundaries to produce slap-back echoes, feedback, and a general lack of intelligibility, Tectonic Resonant Mode Loudspeakers propagate audio as a diffuse and non-correlated audio source that does not interact significantly with highly reflective boundary surfaces," explains Scott Garside of Tectonic. “With the unique audio characteristics of Tectonic panels, we were able to solve for this challenging acoustic space.”
In addition to audio requirements, aesthetics was a major concern in selecting a speaker system. “I was tasked with finding a new speaker system”, continues Lopez. “The solution had to fit the design of the Living Room. We really didn’t want to put in typical big old lumpy speakers. We needed something sleek that would blend in with the design of the space. The Tectonic speakers were a perfect fit. They look beautiful; like they have been designed for this space.”
Atlanta Sound Works engineered an elegant mounting system that utilized the Tectonic PL panel's VESA compatible capabilities. Custom-fabricated ceiling mounts were fitted with standard VESA brackets to attach to the Tectonic PL-12s. Adjustment points were provided by this design to allow for aiming of the panels. Speaker cables were routed internally through the mounts to provide a clean look to the final installation.