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A Club With a Mission

Naples, Fla., is not your grandmother's retirement location anymore. Over the past few decades, the city's population has morphed from retirees into young couples with families. With this shift have come establishments that cater to the needs and wants of a younger, hipper set.

The DJ booth at SWAY Lounge in Naples, Fla. A ZonePRO system allows for volume presets, but features flexibility of dbx software that can bypass the presets if desired. Several dbx ZC.8 keypads installed in various zones allow for in-room audio control.

The DJ booth at SWAY Lounge in Naples, Fla. A ZonePRO system allows for volume presets, but features flexibility of dbx software that can bypass the presets if desired. Several dbx ZC.8 keypads installed in various zones allow for in-room audio control.

Credit: Courtesy Accent ESI

CHALLENGE: Create an AV and lighting system that is versatile and robust enough to provide zone control as well as individual control of audio routing and lighting fixtures

SOLUTION: Install a system that is easy to use and incorporates zones and presets with overrides for fine adjustment

NAPLES, FLA., is not your grandmother's retirement location anymore. Over the past few decades, the city's population has morphed from retirees into young couples with families. With this shift have come establishments that cater to the needs and wants of a younger, hipper set.

“The entire demographic of Naples has changed. The average age is now 42,” says Bryant Yunker, owner of the new SWAY Lounge, who “retired” to Naples at 35 after 15 years in New York. Yunker named the lounge after a video jockey from MTV, liking that SWAY had several connotations to it.

The equipment room at the multilevel SWAY Lounge in Naples, Fla. The big-city-style club, which is capable of transforming its atmosphere for various theme nights, had an AV budget of $200,000 and took a year to come to fruition.

The equipment room at the multilevel SWAY Lounge in Naples, Fla. The big-city-style club, which is capable of transforming its atmosphere for various theme nights, had an AV budget of $200,000 and took a year to come to fruition.

Credit: Courtesy Accent ESI

Intent on bringing South Beach and New York nightlife to Naples, SWAY offers patrons four theme nights per week. And on each night, the club must transform itself accordingly, using AV and lighting installed by Accent Electronic Systems Integrators, a custom systems integrator for specialty markets in residential and commercial in Bonita Springs, Fla. Wednesday is “Sex in the City” night, playing off the popular HBO show set in New York. Thursday is SWAY's jazz night, where the high-end, modular furniture is rearranged to give patrons the feeling of being in their own living rooms; later, a DJ takes over the entertainment. Friday and Saturday feature a high-energy DJ spinning music from the booth.

Renowned contemporary architect Mark Leonardi of Naples designed the open, industrial space “with a great mezzanine. It's very inviting and voyeuristic,” says Yunker. SWAY also features art that plays off its name, such as a 60-foot by 30-foot aluminum and fiberglass sculpture of a maple tree that rises through the center of the lounge roof and up to the sky bar.

The bar at SWAY Lounge.

The bar at SWAY Lounge.

Credit: Courtesy Accent ESI

SWAY is a multilevel lounge with a VIP area, balcony and DJ booth on the second floor. The booth is situated over the bar area so the occupant can see the entire first floor.

“The architect used clean lines and metal finishes,” says Curt Ross, president of Accent, who has worked with Leonardi on past projects. “He especially likes to influence his spaces with detail in lighting and sound.” Total AV budget for the yearlong project was $200,000, and included several facets such as lighting control, video projection, background music, the DJ booth, and a surveillance system.

Hear It, See It

The house lighting system uses Lucifer theatrical track lighting installed throughout the open-beam ceiling. Accent installed two sets of lights divided into 16 zones, with one track equaling more than 15,000 watts.

“There are 10 times more house lights than necessary, so that there are no hot spots,” says Ross. “Perhaps it is overkill, but the lighting bathes the lounge in an even pool of light.”

As for his lighting requirements, says Yunker: “I designed the club for what I wanted. I wanted it to look like Miami or New York, a higher price point than what you would typically find in Naples.”

Lighting control by Crestron provides individual fixture control within each zone. Yunker can use the programmed presets, but can also tweak the lighting depending on the mood. SWAY is Accent's largest Crestron lighting-control installation to date. Ross and his team used the Crestron PAC2 automation control system with Ethernet, one Crestron C2ENET-1 single port Ethernet card for 2-Series control systems, eight Crestron CNX-B8W eight-button keypads, and one Crestron TPS-3100LB Isys 6.4” touchpanel. Crestron automation enclosures include three CAEN-7X2 7 modules high by two modules wide enclosures, and one CAEN-7X1 7 modules high by one module wide enclosure.

“Using quality products such as Crestron, we were able to create a control center at the lower bar area using a 10-inch TPS-4000L touchpanel, which let us give Bryant control of all lighting fixtures,” says Ross. “Before he decided he wanted a lighting control system, he had requested that all light switches be located at one place at the lower bar. There would have been 28 light switches, not including the keypads for the music control system. The end result is a multipanel Crestron system that is much more manageable and robust.”

Integrated with the Crestron lighting control is a dbx ZonePRO 1260 processor to provide multi-zone audio control. Similar to the lighting programming, the audio is preset to certain scenes, depending on the evening's events.

“The lounge setting means that lighting and audio are low key, whereas the dance-night setting defaults to the DJ booth,” says Ross. “The ZonePRO allows us to do volume presets, but we can still bypass the presets if necessary. We're impressed with the flexibility of the dbx software. Using the ZonePRO, we can control the settings in each of the five audio zones separately. Additionally, several dbx ZC.8 keypads are installed in each zone for in-room audio control.”

For emergency situations, the system has a built-in audible shutdown, using the dbx ZC-FIRE module. The ZC-FIRE is a dedicated fire-safety interface that allows selection of either system mute or scene selection upon a trigger by a relay or a control voltage from the fire safety system.

Using the same strategy as the lighting scheme, the sound system is designed to provide a phenomenal amount of sound coverage. JBL Professional Control Contractor loudspeakers were installed to cover every square inch of the lounge with evenly distributed sound. Eight JBL Control 28s provide background music for the main floor. For high-energy dance nights, the system is supplemented by four EAW Avalon DCS2 subwoofers in custom enclosures, which double as a 36-inch by 36-inch elevated stage for professional club dancers, and four EAW MK516 loudspeakers suspended from the beam ceiling. dbx 233 crossovers send low-frequency energy to the subwoofers.

Throughout the rest of the space, eight JBL Control 26CT recessed loudspeakers offer sound coverage in the restrooms and hallways. Sixteen JBL Control 28T-60 loudspeakers cover the terrace, study, VIP room, and roof garden and sky bar.

The control room on the second floor houses all Middle Atlantic equipment racks and the DJ equipment, including three Technics turntables, a Pioneer DJM-800 mixer, and a Yamaha DVD750 DVD/CD player. Crown CT series amplifiers power the audio system. A client-owned computer and a Sirius satellite radio receiver are also in the control room.

SWAY uses two Runco 710LT projectors with an Aurora Multimedia DIDO Pro multipurpose video processor. Images are projected onto a special 120-inch Plexiglas screen with an LCD film laminate, which changes appearance with the application of an electrical charge. (See sidebar.) Says Ross: “The screen is mobile, and hooks up to one of two hang points when they want to use it. The challenge was getting the right projectors for the room and aiming them for both locations.”

Yunker says that the biggest challenge was an extended timeline. “This project took more than nine months to make its way through the County Permit Office, with many variances based on original building guidelines, building setbacks, parking, water drainage, and landscaping,” he says. “Acoustically, we designed the space around the club-quality sound system. When we held the Gavin DeGraw acoustic event in January, the sound inside the space was amazing, despite the steel and concrete makeup of the structure.”

Linda Seid Frembes is a magazine journalist and public relations consultant for the professional AV industry. Visit her at www.frembes.com.


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