The award-winning Bella Sky Comwell hotel in the Danish capital Copenhagen chose the Q-Sys integrated platform from QSC to route and manage much of its extensive audio infrastructure, from background music to conference audio.
The instantly recognizable hotel, with its dual ‘leaning towers’ design, was built in late 2011 as part of the Bella Center Conference venue on Amager, the island off Copenhagen where the city’s main airport and the Danish access to the international bridge and tunnel across the Øresund (Gravel Sound) to Sweden are situated.
Since opening it has won several accolades, including an International Hotel Award for Best Architecture in Europe for its unique ‘twisted pair’ of towers, which are designed to ensure more guests obtain an uninterrupted view of of the capital in one direction, or the impressive Øresund Bridge in the other.
Local audio-visual integrator AV-Huset a/s were responsible for the audio infrastructure at the hotel, and chose Q-Sys as the management platform, installing a comprehensive system supplied by Danish QSC distributor EM Nordic.
Run from a control room in the hotel basement, the Bella Sky Q-Sys comprises a Core 1000 linked to 10 I/O Frames around the building, 21 ISA amplifiers, a total of 10 compact two-way QSC AD-S 52 and 82 loudspeakers distributed amongst the hotel’s four bars and two restaurants, together with no less than 144 QSC AD-CI52ST discreet ceiling-mount speakers in the reception and other communal areas.
Q-Sys is mainly responsible for background music facilities at Bella Sky, although mic- and line-in options are provided in some of the hotel’s 28 meeting rooms and three conference halls, so audio can be networked for projections and corporate presentations.
In the conference halls, Q-Sys also interfaces with a third-party environmental control system.
“It was my first installation with Q-Sys, and we had to ensure it would integrate with the third-party control system,” explains Ashley Cooke of EM Nordic. “I was concerned it would take a while, but it was literally a question of sitting down with the installers for 15 minutes, and then Q-Sys was all hooked up. I thought I might get some calls from them asking for support, but everything just worked — the next thing I knew, the hotel was open and winning awards!
“One of the advantages of Q-Sys is that is doesn’t need dedicated custom cabling. So at Bella Sky, the system runs via the hotel’s existing IT infrastructure, which made for huge savings on installation costs, considering that the same audio channels often need to be routed simultaneously to the ground floor in one tower and the 23rd floor in the other!
“The hotel management were also pleased about the expandability of the system. We originally installed a fixed-architecture system running the then-current version 2.0 software and firmware, with 24 inputs and 68 outputs. You can imagine the smile on the faces of the installers and the customers when they were informed that future channel expansion would just require the latest firmware update — so they could make use of the new Flex Channels, which can be either inputs or outputs — and not the purchase of a bigger core as they had expected. Partly because of that, plans are now being drawn up to extend the Q-Sys network across the whole of the Bella Center conferencing facility.”