Hong Kong lighting-and-audiovisual systems specialist BAP has recently installed an integrated system at Neptune's, a fine-dining Chinese restaurant serving seafood cooked in the Cantonese and Sichuan culinary traditions. The high-end eatery is located in Ocean Park, a marine theme park in the south of Hong Kong Island.
“Neptune’s Restaurant is the only aquarium restaurant in Hong Kong with the colourful backdrop of a lively underwater world seen through a 13-meter-wide panoramic viewing panel; guests can enjoy sustainable seafood in an elegant dining environment,” says BAP director of sales, Marco Tang. “This aspect is extremely important for the AV component of the project. The design had to embody comfort yet prestige while also following Ocean Park’s compliance rules.”
To satisfy the needs of the client, BAP had to install a range of products: outdoor digital signage, projection and display systems, audio system, touchpanel controls, and dimming control system.
The project presented BAP with a number of challenges. The restaurant is divided into several spaces, each of which needs its lighting and audiovisual systems to be able to operate separately or in combination with other dining sections. BAP installed the Lutron HomeWorks QS lighting control system, which enables restaurant operators to switch between preset light environments, each customised for a specific use such as speech, march-in, dining, and presentations. Transition times between lighting scenes range from one second to one hour, and can be programmed in such a way that the diners won’t even notice the subtle changes in light level.
The brief also required a system that could easily transition from one programmed set up to another; for example, from wedding mode to party mode. This required automatic handling, processing and distribution of video and audio, all of which are effortlessly controlled via an intuitive touchscreen interface (an Extron TLP Pro 720T TouchLink Pro, a seven-inch tabletop touchpanel).
One of the trickier challenges the BAP team faced was to create an ease-to-use control for non-technical operators. “Building a system is not the most difficult part, but designing an user-friendly interface that facilitates user to control the audio, video and lighting systems with confidence is always a challenging tasks,” narrates BAP director of engineering, Finson Lam. “Our programmer spent much effort to understand operational requirements and work flows from the client through effective communication. And then came up with a solution that allows control everywhere with a touch of button. It would drastically reduce the labor costs and turn-around times.”
The most noticeable BAP installation was the digital signage situated in front of the restaurant. Using robust Samsung OH46F 46” outdoor signage, the restaurant is able to showcase the menu, daily specials by the restaurant’s Michelin-starred chef, and corporate information.“It’s the first eye-catching point right before you enter the aquarium restaurant,” says BAP senior marketing manager, Karen Ng.
Other hardware goes unnoticed, working quietly in the background, manipulating light and sound to maximise the potential of the venue. BAP like it this way. Like the Wizard of Oz, the Hong Kong firm prefers to remain behind the curtain, pulling the strings unseen, letting the venue get the glory.
BAP is headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in Macau and Shenzhen.
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