Here is an overview of just a few of the fantastic projects we have undertaken.
Bath Assembly Rooms
It is not every day that our brief is penned by Charles Dickens, but his description of the Bath Assembly Rooms in The Pickwick Papers was spot on.
This elegant building in the heart of Bath was a hub of Georgian high society. The high ceilings and opulent materials created grand and beautiful spaces, but with less impressive acoustic conditions.
The aim of Bath and North East Somerset Council consulting Harmonia was to improve the listening experience at events while respecting the historical architecture. In particular we were asked to examine how speech intelligibility could be maximised.
Harmonia carried out a detailed assessment of baseline acoustic conditions. Measurement results were used to build computer simulations of numerous acoustic and audio system options and identify which of these would work best.
We facilitated on-site demonstrations for stakeholders to witness first-hand the effectiveness of equipment and acoustic treatment alternatives. Our client is now equipped with a clear understanding of the acoustic challenges, and a range of tools that can be used to optimise sound quality for each event.
Smeg Store, London
We were delighted to assist Smeg with their new global flagship store on the prestigious Regent Street in London. This is the first store in the UK to give the public a hands on experience of the whole product range. Smeg, famous for their stylish home appliances, wanted audio-visual systems that reflected the quality of their brand.
The cooking and product demonstration area captivates visitors with a multi-camera video system allowing them to see every detail on large screen displays. Demonstrators’ voices are relayed by radio headsets so customers do not miss a single word.
Our advice also covered premium level background music and paging, spreading the quality ambience throughout the three level showroom.
We have been working with Cardiff University for a number of years redeveloping teaching spaces across their whole campus estate.
Our initial appointment included creating a detailed set of design guidelines for other specialists to adhere to, ensuring that AV systems would operate optimally. This document has since been the exemplar template for all redevelopment projects.
For each phase of the refurbishments, detailed audio and acoustic designs have been developed. Harmonia has been responsible for reviewing AV installers’ work from appointment through to completion and handover, as well as ensuring that the build delivered the required acoustic standards.
Each phase has been under significant cost scrutiny, but we have been able to align system requirements and budgets before contractor appointment. This approach has been very successful in controlling costs while maintaining high quality.
A development that sees Cardiff adopting the latest AV technologies is the E-leaf computer assessment suite. This uses a large AV over IP distribution under Crestron control to route images to student workstations spread through the three combinable areas. Harmonia are working with systems integrator Reflex to deliver this ambitious project.
And the University’s newly-built Journalism, Media and Communications department features superb audio-visual facilities throughout. From the large auditorium to numerous lecture theatres, seminar rooms and learning newsrooms, each spaces meets Cardiff’s high standards for speech intelligibility, flexible video systems and centrally monitored control. By close integration with the BBC within the same building, students will have an excellent environment to master broadcast as well as print and web media skills. Harmonia are working with systems integrator GV Multimedia on this impressive new building.
Our long partnership with Cardiff University has also included other new-build projects such as the Centre for Student Life – a stunning new student hub for the whole campus.
RIBA’s North West Award for 2016 went to the HOME arts centre in Manchester, with the jury complimenting it as “an excellent example of how something so complex can be made to look effortless”.
HOME is the place to be in Manchester to fulfil your art and a cultural needs with theatres, cinemas and a relaxed vibe for friends to get together for food.
Harmonia met the challenge of packing numerous theatre and cinema spaces into a single building, whilst ensuring that the adjacent railway did not affect audience enjoyment. As a result of our painstaking design, visitors are unanimous in their appreciation of the fantastic sound quality.
English National Ballet, London City Island
Harmonia are looking after all audio-visual provisions for English National Ballet and ENB School’s new home at London City Island. This exciting new building will include a theatre-sized space for the rehearsal of productions, eight large dance studios, lecture theatres and meeting rooms.
We are supporting the design of an in-house media server, underpinning ENB’s plans to rapidly expand their digital marketing. This will be used to record rehearsals and promotional trailers while acting as an archive of ballet productions.
The generously-sized facilities give ENB the opportunity to develop their productions within their new headquarters, as well as offering superb rehearsal space for outside users. Harmonia are proud to be part of this fantastic project, which will inspire one of the world’s finest ballet companies well into the future.
Coventry University Super Lab
Coventry University opened the doors to their flagship Health Sciences facility late 2017. The building hosts a diverse set of teaching and simulation spaces across its five floors: two community houses, two simulation hospital wards, ambulance simulator, eight teaching and seminar rooms and the 220-seat "Super Lab" to name but a few.
The "Big Brother" style simulation spaces are managed centrally with in-house technician support allowing tutors to teach without having to worry about the technicalities. The AV system is capable of recording multiple sessions from anywhere in the building to be stored, edited and published to the University's on-line learning environment.
The new building's ability to deliver first class teaching facilities is solidly founded on an extensive AV system, designed from the ground up. From concept design through to handover, Harmonia worked closely with the University's end user groups, faculty heads and AV/IT team as well as the engineering and architectural design team, the main contractor and systems integrator.
The Benedictine nuns of Stanbrook Abbey needed an update from their ancient home in Worcestershire to support their work and prayer into the future. The brand new Stanbrook Abbey in Yorkshire was named RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year in recognition of its outstanding design.
The Abbey includes a stunning church and chapel as well as accommodation and parlours. The rich and enveloping acoustics of the church support the nuns’ uplifting chant. The combination of excellent sound insulation with natural ventilation creates a tranquil environment for contemplation as well as keeping confidential discussions private.
Harmonia are proud to have had the rare opportunity to blend the best of modern and traditional design for this amazingly beautiful convent.