Feature: Regional flavours
Feature: Regional flavours
Shoppers spoiled for choice in the Thai capital won’t be helped by the opening of a new development on the Chao Phraya River. Richard Lawn drops in
With the creation of IconSiam and IconLuxe, Bangkok’s retailing riches have been significantly expanded. The US$1.5 billion project includes the 52-storey Mandarin Oriental and 70-floor Magnolias Waterfront Residences and 525,000m2 of retail floor space. On the ground floor of this development, Sook Siam presents another dilemma. This extensive dining area has 77 outlets, all representing different Thai provinces.
The main focal point and attraction of Sook Siam is undoubtedly the authentically replicated floating market. Surrounded by Thai motifs, temples, long-tail boats and pavilions, shoppers can watch cultural performances, getting a taste of Thailand without having to leave the mall. Other attractions including the Old Market and Chinese Old Town also vie for the attention of hungry customers.
The 77 outlets have been subdivided into five regional areas that reflect diverse Thai cultures and representative styles of cuisine. Should the shopper become disorientated by the wide variety of aromas originating from the southern or northeastern kitchens, the background music should provide a further clue. ‘The music that is being played in each of the five zones is regional in origin,’ explains Terminal Solutions’ Phuwadol Galakacha. For example, diners enjoying fiery dishes with sticky rice in the outlets of the North Eastern zone are soothed by accompanying Mor Lam music.
In its role as the systems integrator of the public address and BGM system for Sook Siam, Terminal Solutions used suppliers SC and Digit Control to execute its designs, which have a QSC Q-Sys backbone integrating the BGM sources for the five main zones in addition to paging, announcements and an emergency override panel.
Fibre-connected to a LAN Cisco-controlled network switch installed into one of two upper-ground-floor racks, zone paging and recorded announcements are fed to the Q-Sys Core 510i processor. Located on the ground floor, the main reception area is equipped with a PG 1600G paging microphone together with a 7-inch TCS-7w Q-Sys touchscreen for selecting recorded announcements to be played in the various zones in multiple languages. The musical sources fed to the five main zones are stored in an MTP-32 multitrack player interconnected to an M2-D2-S solid state drive. Bypassing the network switch, the fireman’s panel automatically cuts directly into the Core 510i processor should an emergency evacuation drill or actual event come into effect.
The Q-Sys Core 510i processor lies at the heart of the audio and control processing system and uses Q-LAN for audio, video and control connectivity with all the Q-Sys components sitting on the audio-over-IP network. Using IEEE networking standards for audio, control and video distribution over a standard Ethernet/IP network, Q-LAN provides deterministic system latencies with analogue input to analogue output guaranteed at 3.167ms. Flexibility is provided in the form of eight rear I/O card slots for incorporating any combination of Q-Sys I/O cards. In Sook Siam, the Core 510i has been configured solely for audio use with on-board acoustic echo cancellation processing but, if desired, could be modified to integrate cards such as the Q-Sys AV-to-USB bridging solution.
From the Core 510i, the audio signals are routed to 14 QSC amplifiers. Three QSC CMX2000Vas serve Seafood World, the Old Market and the Royal Artisan Village, while a fourth splits its channels to Spice Journey and Ruan Lane Wang. Ten ISA800Ti amplifiers provide the bulk of the power to the ground and upper-ground-level zones. These include the flower pavilion, floating market, Chinese Old Town, Sino Mansion, Silk Cottage and the Rice Barns. All set to 100V line operation, the CMX2000Va and ISA800Ti two-channel amplifiers are capable of producing 1,000W and 800W of power, respectively.
The ground levels are furnished with 196 Tannoy DVS 4T speakers, which are equipped with 4-inch coaxial transducers and internal line transformers for 100V line distribution and are rated IP64. Also operating on a 100V line power supply, 138 Turbosound TCI32-T 3.5-inch speakers equipped with OmniMount wall brackets provide the ambience on the upper levels. A ceiling speaker solution of 17 Tannoy CVS 4 coaxials are installed into two sections where speaker cabinets could not be installed.
With six floors of shopping, both IconSiam and IconLuxe include fashion, lifestyle and luxury brands galore, in addition to the first Siam Takashimaya and Apple stores in Thailand and an Icon Cineconic cinema by Major Cineplex. Both the Iconsiam Heritage Museum and the 3,000-seat auditorium and True ICON exhibition hall opened earlier this year. The glistening IconLuxe Facade Engineering is currently the longest pleated glass façade in the world. Directly below this, an extensive walkway has been created alongside the Chao Phraya River as part of the River Park public area.
A 15-minute daily fountain show takes place in the centre of the walkway. Maple Integration was called upon to supply the audio solution that accompanies the dazzling lighting effects in sync with the Iconic Multimedia water show. Claimed to be the longest fountain in Southeast Asia, this stretches over 400m along the river. Specialist air pressure nozzles capable of projecting the water up to 35m high can also create 2D, 3D and 4D water shapes.
Vichai Trading supplied the sound reinforcement to accompany the displays. Erected as towers at either end of the attraction and facing inwards towards one other, L-R sets of Renkus-Heinz ICL-FR-DUAL self-powered column speakers provide the voicing. Combining 10 6.5-inch neodymium LF woofers and six 1-inch titanium nitride HF drivers, each column array is focused on the audience area. Internal active 16 channel electronics control the frequency and phase response of each driver, working together to create a uniform 30° beam. The resultant, digitally steered beams ensure minimal spillage towards the mall, park and river. The speaker system combines the L-R arrays with three TRX82 dual 8-inch two-way speakers. The thunderous show is enhanced significantly by L-R ground-stacked arrays of triple DRS18-2B dual 18-inch subwoofers capable of extending the LF down to 32Hz.
Showtime starts when an operator cues the AV parameters from a Q-Sys TSC-7w touchscreen. CD audio playback, together with two channels of Audio-Technica ATW-314 wireless transmitters, are fed into a Midas DM16 console in the control room, with L-R outputs sent to a Q-Sys Core 110f processor. This is connected via Cat-5e cabling and an 8-port Gigabit desktop PoE Smart Switch to the Q-Sys touchscreen. The signal path is direct from the processor to the IC7-FR-DUAL, DRS18-2B and TRX82 components.
Iconsiam is boldly attracting tourists and locals alike with its unique combination of dazzle, glamour and glitz. By providing such a rich mix of entertainment under one roof, the owners seek to keep customers onsite as long as possible. The audio fulfilment plays its part in this basic aim. Simple in design, it adds to the allure of the multiple zones, providing redundancy as well as flexibility when upgrades and modifications inevitably need to be made. The incorporation of multiple sources being routed to numerous outputs is executed perfectly and effortlessly from touchscreen to transducer.