Aéroville Shopping Centre Sets The Mood With Ovation

hého design finds the best solution for creating contrasting audio zones for shoppers

Aéroville Commercial Centre (France), January 2014: Audio in public spaces is often poor quality background music indiscriminately broadcast regardless of the environment. Europe’s largest listed commercial property company was not satisfied with that. Unibail-Rodamco wanted to create something more inspirational for the new Aéroville retail centre located adjacent to the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The total concept demanded different playback content for the various areas but how could the sound designers manage 30 input sources and 40 different outputs feeding over 250 loudspeakers (without parking areas). Ovation from Merging Technologies proved to be the solution.

The company that was able to visualise, design and implement the client’s needs was hého; a company well versed in sound architecture and design which has developed a new way of working with sound in malls and big public areas. hého worked from the sound concept, proposed by Unibail-Rodamco, to the choice of the sound system; dealing with all steps in the process except installation. Exploiting and improving the concept of Sound Paths, the hého team knew what they wanted to create, but a year ago they were still struggling to find a solution that would do this efficiently. Hearing about a product called Ovation just prior to ISE 2013, thanks to a French partner company (Atelier Audiovisuel at JTSE in Paris), Laurent Sauvagnac and David Guérin visited the Merging stand. Impressed by the demo and the discussion that followed, the design concept seemed to be achievable and the planning started in earnest.

The size of the project was daunting; 84,000 m² of retail, 200 shops, 30 restaurants, 1 Auchan hypermarket of 15,000 m², a 12 theatre multiplex cinema from Luc Besson’s EUROPACORP, 4,700 parking spaces and a budget of €355 million. The plan was to provide a world class shopping centre for the 120,000 people working in the area and the 60 million passengers arriving at CDG every year. Unusual in being all on one level, the design focused on five different and unique landscapes. Different materials and appearances appealed to sight, smell and touch… but what about hearing? The Bali Market, Africa Lodge, Nordic Chic and Tokyo Mix are all distinct areas of the shopping centre that provide a variety of retail themes. And, Terminal Cook provides a 5th scene with a tropical atmosphere for the Dining Experience (taste) that includes a play-alone piano. With all these varied areas, there was plenty of scope for a variety of soundscapes to feed the last of these senses. By programming scene specific atmospheres and identities, and then being able to program a randomized playback, routing and gains throughout the day allowed each district’s sonic persona to remain interesting and engaging at all times.

This huge shopping mall is open seven days a week and the audio programme is required to run for 14 hours per day so reliability and stability are obviously paramount. Networked audio provides the flexibility and simplicity needed to control the 40 separate loudspeaker zones. The Ovation connects to a Symetrix SymNet Radius 12 x 8 which then connects to the new Bose PowerMatch® PM8500N power amplifiers via Dante &trad; . Julien Bachelier, hého’s Technical Manager summarised Ovation thus: "Ovation is very easy to use; you don’t need advanced programming skills to set up interaction rules between events to create even the most complex show. It is a powerful tool with many functions and controls and it suits this application extremely well."

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About hého

hého operates from Nantes and Montreuil and believes that, like the air and light, sound is a major environmental material. It is an essential component of perception of space, time and directly affects the state, behaviour, welfare, or stress of the user.
With this sound material, hého designs and creates perceptions to improve the architecture, environment and communication according to the objectives and needs. To achieve this, the firm orchestrates internally all the business of consulting (sound strategy, audit and recommendations), technical (sound, sound and dramatization ) and creative ( music and sound design, development, production) to create sound – and thus the environment – a factor of success in any strategy or any architectural design project www.hehodesign.eu

About Unibail-Rodamco

Created in 1968, Unibail-Rodamco SE is Europe’s largest listed commercial property company, with a presence in 12 EU countries, and a portfolio of assets valued at €30.5 billion as of June 30, 2013. As an integrated operator, investor and developer, the Group aims to cover the whole of the real estate value creation chain. With the support of its 1,500 professionals, Unibail-Rodamco applies those skills to highly specialised market segments such as large shopping centres of major European cities, and large offices and convention & exhibition centres in the Paris region.
The Group distinguishes itself through its focus on the highest architectural, city planning and environmental standards. Its long term approach and sustainable vision focuses on the development or redevelopment of outstanding places to shop, work and relax. Its commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability has been recognised by inclusion in the DJSI (World and Europe), FTSE4Good and STOXX Global ESG Leaders indexes.
The Group is a member of the CAC 40, AEX 25 and EuroSTOXX 50 indices. It benefits from an A rating from Standard & Poor's and FitchRatings.

For more information, please visit our website: www.unibail-rodamco.com