Fan Mallorca, situated near to Palma Airport on the Mediterranean island of Majorca, is a huge, multi-zone retail mall that opened last September. Dolores Bañon, the director of promotion and development for Carrefour Property España, sums up the size of the project: “The Balearics will never have seen so many top brands under the same roof,” she said. They’re all here: H&M, Mango, Decathlon, Primark, Media Markt, Cortefiel, Pedro del Hierro, Women’secret and a number of Majorcan clothing designers and footwear manufacturers – and a C&A (yes, it still exists outside of the UK).
The mall received a total investment of around 190m euros, and involved 2,400 people in its construction. Covering more than 70,000 square metres, a distributed – and proven – audio management system was required for Fan Mallorca. The multi-zoned areas often require separate source material. So, each bathroom (men, women and children), the restaurants, retail outlets and walkway areas all required a dynamic audio feed with a constant variation of playlists, depending on climate and affluence within the building. This meant that the audio DSP system had to communicate with other subsystems, namely a Davis weather station and an Axis Communications people counting camera.
Reliable and trusted solutions were all vital as installers faced (nothing new here!) a tight timeframe – the entire audio install needing to be completed in just 10 weeks.
To meet the challenge of outstanding audio and control throughout the mall, Spanish specialist distributor Neotecnica came on board to oversee all aspects of the technical installation. The reputation of Peavey’s MediaMatrix NION processors made them the preferred choice, with an optical CobraNet fibre network distributing the sound throughout the discrete areas of the shopping centre via a Cisco-based network with over 2km of fibre and copper cable runs.
Two NION n6 processors manage the core audio for more than 55 different zones, all audio channels are processed and transmitted from the NIONs to a total of 13x Crest Audio Ci amplifiers via CobraNet. In addition to the Ci amplifiers there are two nWall CobraNet I/O panels located in the mall for 2-in, 2-out patching of the MediaMatrix system, useful for events and ad hoc performances in the facility throughout the calendar year.
As well as handling all audio aspects of the system, the NIONs are also at the heart of control, utilising GPIO interaction with the weather station and counter camera systems in order to schedule and steer the correct audio sources at any given time dependant on weather, mood and overall busy-ness, all thanks to the diverse MediaMatrix control toolbox. MediaMatrix Kiosk (PC) and Kiosk2Go (iPad) GUIs have been created and deployed within NWare and hosted by the NION processors providing staff connection to take control, monitor and maintain the system within an intuitively designed environment.
The Crest Audio Ci amps are distributed across nine racks throughout the centre via a total of 12km of cable, hooked up to more than 210 Fohhn and 50 Focal speakers, distributed in 70/100V lines.
Each area of the mall now has its own playlists that change automatically, depending on the surrounding situations, which means visitors are able to enjoy a vast range of ‘retail therapy’: there is sure to be something for everyone throughout the 120 stores to be found within the mall. Fan Mallorca now has to rank as one of Spain’s premier shopping experience.
James Kennedy, operations manager at Peavey Commercial Audio remarked: “We are once again delighted to work with our Spanish partner Neotecnica in making this project such a success. Applications like these always throw up technical curve-balls and this was no exception! The third-party systems integration with NION for dynamic content delivery was particularly challenging for the engineers, [but] they have managed to leverage the power of NION to overcome these problems through the flexibility and capability of Python-scripting and bespoke control devices within NWare.
“The guys at Neotecnica have done a sterling job!”
Tthe open philosophy of nWare makes it possible to adapt it dynamically, which is in my opinion, is one of the key points to this project,” added Neotechnica engineer Fernando Vidal Wagner.
Carrefour Property, owner of Fan Mallorca Shopping Mall, were thrilled with the outcome. “We are delighted the project has been completed in record time,” said a spokesman. “We wanted to develop a different project, a shopping mall music oriented to include many different areas in the centre, each with their own playlists which change according to the weather or the influx of people in the middle. This project is a real turning point for the retail sector, we will mark a milestone in the history of shopping centres.”