Case Study: The Prelude - One Bangkok, Thailand

Hurrairah bin Sohail explores how AV at the Inavation Award winning installation at The Prelude – One Bangkok, Thailand not only helps complete the sale but also communicates the ethos behind this ambitious real estate development project.

One Bangkok is a fully integrated district in the heart of Bangkok currently under development. It is one of the biggest and most ambitious mixed development projects undertaken in Thailand, seeking to set new standards in terms of design, quality, connectivity and sustainability.

Karnkridit Nimsombun, vice president of sustainability, smart city, CUP, estate management from Frasers Property, says: “There are a few main principles driving One Bangkok. We want to develop a sustainable, people-centric property based on the concepts of smart city living. The development philosophy focuses on environmental sustainability, and to create a new way of urban living not yet seen in Bangkok. Designed from the ground up to be green, smart, safe, and with nearly half of the site’s footprint designated as public realm, One Bangkok will be accessible and inclusive, inspiring new forms of public participation and creativity.”

He continues: “One Bangkok incorporates the unique essence of Thailand and Bangkok’s rich history, combining a deep understanding of local, social and cultural contexts with new experiences of urban living.”

The challenge for One Bangkok at the current stage of development is to present its vision and all pertinent information regarding the project to prospective buyers in an effective and informative manner. A simple brochure or signage system would fall short of these objectives.

Nimsombun says: “We need a way to convey this entire range of information in an engaging way to prospective clients. And on top of that, we need the space to be flexible to keep pace with the progress of the development. As the project comes to fruition, we need the space to be able to convey additional information. So, we required a flexible space that can convey the vision, the future and the district. This led us to develop The Prelude.”

The Prelude currently serves as the main retail area to interact with prospective buyers while the One Bangkok development proceeds. However, the driving force behind the conceptualisation, design and deployment of the technology has more in common with what you would find at a visitor attraction. The AV systems in particular are focused on bringing across the ethos and vision of One Bangkok.

The overall consultant for the project was Draftsmen, the AV consultant was DinoTech and Vichai Trading 1983 served as the system integrator for The Prelude project.

The Prelude can be broken down into three parts, ‘One Vision’, ‘One Future’ and ‘One District’. As the visitor moves through the three spaces and experiences, they gain insight into the principles driving the One Bangkok development. The technology deployed and the content created by DEC Media come together to deliver the client’s information to the visitor in a digestible manner. One Vision serves as the first introduction to the One Bangkok development. A sliding mechanical door opens and invites the visitor into a space that features an elliptical screen on the floor. Panasonic projectors with mirror projection display content on the elliptical screen. Extron HDBaseT transmitters and receivers connect the projectors to Dell PCs which are running Dataton WatchOut for processing the content.

Thitikorn Sopchokchai, assistant managing director at Vichai Trading 1983, says: “The client required a space that would reflect the iconic nature of the One Bangkok development and its lofty ambitions. Correspondingly, the technology deployed and the content needed to match the tone of One Bangkok which is to be extremely premium and extremely ambitious.”

For Porrames Mitjit, assistant product support manager and project manager for The Prelude from Vichai Trading 1983, this was the first project he executed that required mirror projection. He says: “It is a very delicate display system and since this was my first time executing it, I took extra care to ensure that it was delivered according to the client’s specifications.”

There were challenges pertaining to the projection to overcome. Mitjit says: “Initially the screen on the floor was going to be convex or dome-shaped. We had begun our work for the projector installation with this in mind. However, as the project progressed the interior designer decided to change it to a flat surface which meant that we had to start our calibration and alignment from the beginning.” The projection mapping is augmented with a laser and moving light show. Barco Medialon is used for show control and Crestron CP3 processors with iPads are used to control the overall system.

Mitjit details: “A technical challenge was providing control for the whole system. Our control system, accessed via iPads and based on Crestron control, is able to control every aspect of the installation from the technology to the hydraulics to the mechanical components. All the mechanical moving parts are connected via contact enclosures to a unit which converts those signals to IP. From here the IP signals go to the Dataton WatchOut and then to Medialon. And we have integrated the Crestron control with Medialon to make sure that everything is accessible to the end user. There is just a one second delay between pressing a button on the iPad and the command being implemented even though the space is huge and there are so many layers of technology required.”

Audio is provided by K-array speakers and two K-array subs, while amplification is provided by Lab.gruppen amplifiers. But this was not just a simple speaker installation as Mitjit details: “With such impressive visuals in the space, we needed audio to also be of high quality. Immersion for the audio has been created by installing them in a circular pattern around the room and the walls have been acoustically treated to minimise reflections. But that is not all, we even have K-array speakers installed in the moveable door so that from the first moment the guests enter One Vision their experience is perfect.”

Biamp Tesira is used as the DSP and audio is distributed via Dante. Mitjit says: “We’re extremely familiar with the Biamp platform and had the in-house expertise to program the DSP according to the client’s specifications.”

From One Vision, the visitor moves on to the space titled One Future. After being explained the principles guiding the One Bangkok development, One Future delves further into how these principles will be implemented.

Sopchokchai says: “The client required a space that would dive into the specifics of how it was going to achieve its goals. It is one thing to say that you will provide sustainability and smart city living. It is another thing to prove that these will be achieved. The experience in One Future needed to take the big first impression made in One Vision and bring it towards a sense of pragmatism and inspire confidence in One Bangkok’s ability to deliver on its promises.”

The core display solution in One Future is a Leyard 4mm pixel pitch LED videowall powered by Novastar processors and controllers. The flexibility and versatility offered by LED made a videowall the obvious choice. The option for flexibility came in handy as Mitjit details: “The initial idea for the LED videowall was to have it on the floor and to have visitors walk around it. But this idea was changed with regards to the final aesthetics that it delivered. From here the LED videowall went onto the wall and we developed the whole visual system from there.”

Panasonic projectors with UST lenses are mounted on the ceiling. They project content onto moving screens and a fixed central screen which has indents and grooves on it to match the geographical features of the land the One Bangkok development is being constructed on.

Mitjit says: “Initially the projector was going to be mirror projection as well. But after surveying the site we knew that there wasn’t enough ceiling space to deliver this. We recommended changing to UST projection and this was accepted by all parties. The projection and the content had to be spot on. The projection surface features grooves and idents and this meant that we were working with really fine margins of error. But in the end, we delivered the display experience that the client wanted.”

As with One Vision, the video systems in One Future are linked with the Dataton WatchOut via Extron HDBaseT transmitters and receivers. Crestron CP3 processors and Medialon are used for show control. Audio is delivered by Tannoy ceiling speakers, Lab. Gruppen amplifiers and Biamp Tesira DSP.

The visitor’s journey ends at One District and Sopchokchai details: “This space is where they discuss the specifics of the sale after the visitor has been properly informed via the experience. The space had to match the nature of the discussions.”

The Prelude after all is meant to serve as a retail environment and AV plays a role in this last stage of the deal as well. There is a 5 by 1 Samsung videowall mounted in a table powered by a PC and GPU running software which can be used to bring up pertinent information when required.

Looking back at the completed project Sopchokchai summarises the experience: “The scale, the size, the prestige and the standards that the client wanted to meet were extremely high and of course the technology had to meet these as well. Of course, the technology was a very important part of The Prelude. But other aspects of a retail environment, such as the interior design and the architecture also contribute to the overall experience. We had to be flexible to make sure that the AV came together with these other elements to deliver the experience the client wanted. There were changes that were requested and we had to honour the wishes and the vision of the client.”

Sopchokchai concludes: “This project has a number of firsts for Vichai. From the first for our project manager with regards to mirror projection to the fact that this was the first time we worked with Medialon and show control. But we always go the extra mile for our clients. We gained the expertise ourselves and worked with AV professionals who know how to program for the required platforms and delivered an end product that met the client’s expectations.”

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