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Case Study: Heston Blumenthal's The Perfectionists' Cafe

   

Outline
The Perfectionists' Café at Heathrow's newly redeveloped Terminal 2; The Queen's Terminal, is Heston Blumenthal's newest venture.

The concept and menu have been under development for the past year and a half with Heston and his team, led by Group Executive Head Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts and Head Chef Julian O'Neill, observing the specific unique requirements and needs of guests in an airport terminal.

Inspired by the "In Search of Perfection" TV programmes and book series, based on Heston's years of research and development work, the menu at The Perfectionists' Café will celebrate some of Britain's favourite dishes and embrace the eccentricity of the Great British invention.

CGA Integration has designed and installed the audio, which needed to reflect the care and attention to detail given to all other aspects of one of Heston Blumenthal's restaurants. Working with music provider Music Concierge, CGA Integration has delivered the right sound to every guest across all three very different areas of The Perfectionists' Café.

 

Challenges
The Perfectionists' Café was acoustically challenging. Firstly the venue is open to the main terminal space which generates all the normal background noise you would expect at an airport. Secondly, the restaurant design provides a limited number of opportunities to mount speakers and hardware, but it was essential that CGA Integration delivered even, quality consistent sound across each of the three very different areas: the enclosed space of the bar, the area between the bar and the main dining area which is under a canopy styled as an aircraft wing in gloss white and the main dining area of the café, which offers no fixes and which provided the greatest challenge.

 

Technical
After a detailed analysis of the site and discussions with the client, CGA Integration recommended installing a compact K-array line array cabinet finished in gloss white along the top of the signage, to deliver focused and directional sound from a high level to areas further out from the covered areas. CGA Integration also used a Netmax N8000 digital sound processor to ensure that all three areas of different speaker sets (5 x JBL control 24 black ceiling speakers, 8 x EV Evid FM4.2 in wall speakers and 8 x K-Array KK50 line array speakers) worked together to create a seamless audio experience throughout The Perfectionists' Café, supported by an EV CPS8.5 multichannel amplifier and a K-Array KA7 dedicated power amplifier.

 

Response
"The audio enhances the total experience we want our customers to receive at The Perfectionists' Café" commented Group Executive Head Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts. "CGA have used a digital sound processor to ensure that all three speaker sets work together to seamlessly blend the sound across all areas, so no matter where you go you experience the same great sound. We are all very pleased with the result."

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