Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Metropolia is the largest university of applied sciences in Finland with more than 16 000 students. They all moved from 20 school buildings to four new campuses. This meant a huge amount of work. Audico was also been given a fair amount of space to showcase its work in Myllypuro new campus - currently 149, to be precise.
The new campuses in Myllypuro and Arabianranta in Helsinki, Myyrmäki in Vantaa and Karamalmi in Espoo opened their doors to the first thousands of students. There was already a lot of buzz before the opening, as Metropolia set an ambitious timetable for constructing and commissioning the facilities in a few years. Wise from afar, Metropolia's AV department had done careful groundwork to ensure that everything could be seen and heard in the hundreds of rooms on time.
"It was a kind of human experiment," says Mikko Mäkelä, Head of IT Services at Metropolia, describing the AV pilot project, which was to focus mainly on equipment. The tender for Metropolia's AV contract included testing different combinations of equipment and the technology of the candidate suppliers in practice and in teaching. The criteria were strict. The main objectives were adaptability, ease of use and standardisation; whatever the machine the user was carrying, everything had to be at the end of a single wire, without pressing a button. HDMI on - cannon and speakers on.
After more than a year and a half of planning, testing, pruning and tendering, Metropolia made its choice. "Audico understood our needs. The plan has been scaled to the entire building," says Lauri Wilén, AV designer at Metropolia, who praises the Myllypuro project, which involved a total of 85 rooms ranging from classrooms to meeting rooms.
The corridors of the Myllypuro campus were already filled with masses of students wandering from one lecture to the next, while Audico installers shuttled between classes. Precise coordination and flexibility in every direction was a given in such a large-scale project. Success required close coordination between Audico and Metropolia's experts, and so it was.
"Working together with the installation team went very smoothly. The installations were done well and neatly."
Myllypuro's contract included video projectors, touch screens and larger 55-86-inch screens, 149 of each, and sound systems. In the classrooms, pairs of speakers are connected to the ceiling, so that the sound reproduced covers the entire room evenly, from the blackboard to the backstage area. The lecture theatres are also equipped with distance learning technology. Each screen and projector is remotely controlled, which is quite exceptional for a classroom of this scale. This allows for proactive support and maintenance: for example, the projector bulb can be changed when it is convenient, rather than when it is necessary.
Audico supplied AV technology not only for the classrooms, but also for the auditorium, meeting rooms and the restaurant dining area. Now, in auditoriums, you can control practically everything but people with a tablet. Of course, their attention can also be focused on the performer, as with just a few presses the speaker can control not only the projector and screens, but also the sound and lighting in the room.
So we have come a long way from the burnout of the projectors, though not beyond reach. Mäkelä says that he had already once voluntarily swung all 400 of Metropolia's projectors out of the way, but a few
still insisted on using a classic.
Still, renewal is written in capital letters in Metropolia's strategy - in terms of campuses, culture and digitalisation. Audico had the pleasure of being part of making this goal a reality.
"Audico was selected to implement three AV projects for Metropolia within a short period of time. "You could say they are a reliable supplier," confirms Mäkelä. The amount of equipment mentioned in this story only covers the first construction phase of Myllypuro, but the next three sections are just going up. Whoever gets the responsibility for the future AV projects will be as colossal in scale as the campus itself. At least one candidate supplier has now shown that the wires will not be crossed on a project of this size.
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