KONE built a new showroom next to its Hyvinkää lift factory. It will showcase the company's products to prospective customers around the world. Audico carried out the AV part of the project.
Behind a large and shiny glass facade, two floors of the building display the company's products and innovations, such as shiny elevator baskets, their control panels and large cast-iron motors that raise and lower the lifts. Inside the building, you can already see from the parking lot and get a sense of the space's size. We are near the motorway near Hyvinkää Switzerland, where the KONE People Flow Center is located.
The showroom, a showcase for the company's products, innovations and ways of working, has now been updated for the modern age. The first version was built almost 10 years ago when the building was completed. On the lower floor, the area is divided into living, design, working, commuting and keeping cities running sections, where products, their details and technology for each segment are presented.
"In our showrooms, we bring our products, services and solutions to customers to see and experience them in a realistic context and environment," says Emma Laaksonen, brand senior specialist at KONE's Marketing and Communications department.
Good lighting in the space is a mix of daylight and artificial light. We step through various automated doors and gates to the lifts, which come in many different types: from transparent landscape lifts to modern LED-walled lifts that display a moving image from a large surface. The door can be opened or the lift can be called from a smartphone screen. Information announcements or music can be heard through speakers hidden in the lifts. KONE's escalator components and automatic doors are also on display.
On the second floor is a large and open seminar and workshop area, which is pleasantly bright thanks to its long glass façade. The main wall is filled with an 8.5 m wide and 2.2 m high Samsung LED wall, which allows crystal clear video images to be shown in daylight. Here, KONE presents its production data, history and future visions to its guests.
KONE is one of Finland's largest companies, with tentacles all over the world. It is one of the world's leading manufacturers of elevators, escalators and automatic doors. The maintenance business accounts for a large part of the company's EUR 10 billion turnover. With more than 60 000 employees in over 60 countries, KONE's main markets are not only Europe but also Asia and especially China. KONE's headquarters are located in Keilaniemi, Espoo, Finland.
Janne Kuisma, President and CEO of KONE Industrial, says that the Hyvinkää factory produces so-called customized or more demanding models, such as skyscraper elevators.
"Urbanisation, sustainable development and technology are the main drivers of our business today. No longer is a lift ride in a creaking iron basket, but today we can offer a sensory experience with light, colour, sound and atmosphere. We can also combine information with the journey," Kuisma says of today's lifts.
Increasingly, lifts are also connected to the internet, allowing them to be controlled, monitored and maintained remotely. Last summer, KONE completed the renovation of Särkänniemi Näsinneula, where the express elevators in the observation tower were modernized. KONE's new technological inventions, such as the UltraRope hoisting ropes, enable the safe installation of elevators in increasingly taller buildings. Carbon fibre ropes save space and are more durable than steel cables.
In addition to Audico Systems, KONE's showroom is contracted by Nykypuu, a furniture solutions provider based in Tuusuu, Finland. The concept and customer experience of the KONE showroom was designed by Pentagon Design, a Helsinki-based design agency that is developing KONE's global visitor experience together with KONE's Brand and Communications team.
Olli Karisalmi, Project Sales Manager at Audico, has a long experience of working with several different contractors.
"Familiar partners work together, bounce ideas off each other and learn from each other at the same time. The end result is thus polished to perfection. When different contractors can join forces at an early stage of the design process, it is usually always the most efficient solution for the client," says Karisalmi, who praises the project partners.
In addition to the Samsung LED wall, Audico supplied and installed Genelec's IP-controlled loudspeakers in the showroom, which can be adapted to different applications. For example, nine white loudspeakers are located above the auditorium in the seminar room, providing a pinpoint and clear sound quality for visitors to the building. Epson projectors project the image onto a curved surface, while Crestron control processors and interfaces control all functions in the space. Some are timed to run automatically according to the time of day, while others are activated by touch panels tailored to KONE's needs.
"We have a long-standing partnership with Audico. Again, it was a distinct advantage that our facilities, our customs and our needs - our whole company culture is already familiar to the contractor. That makes it easy to work together. We are very happy with their solutions," concludes Emma Laaksonen.
TEXT BY Tom Nyman
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