Established in 1833, Goonoo Goonoo Station is an historic homestead that has recently been modernised with a fine dining restaurant, function centre and accommodation village for 80 guests. Reflecting the elegant and sophisticated refurbishment, the owners wanted to achieve exceptional sound quality in all areas of the restaurant and a system that was so easy to use, a new staff member could operate it without any training. Our brief included:
- virtually unnoticeable technology solutions that respected the heritage elements of the property
- very high quality, evenly spread sound in the restaurant
- architectural lighting, automated shading and ceiling fan control
- multipurpose function space to be used in combination or as three separate spaces with full AV functionality
- design custom brackets, housing and installation solutions to comply with heritage requirements
- strong and reliable WiFi access for guests and staff across the entire facility (700ha)
The highly detailed specifications in terms of quality performance, heritage requirements, custom design elements and remote work site were successfully managed within tight budget constraints by our implementation of specialist software program D-Tools to ensure accurate scheduling and comprehensive work orders.
Goonoo Goonoo Station is an historic homestead and prior residence of the Australian Agricultural Company. The Station has recently been modernised and converted in to a fine dining restaurant, function centre and accommodation. In ancient aboriginal language, the name Goonoo Goonoo means ‘ Plenty of Water’.
JFK Automation was engaged to design an AV and control system that would blend in seamlessly with the heritage status of the property and also meet key functional requirements. The primary concern for the owner of this property was to ensure that the system we provided would be virtually unnoticeable in the environment, yet still provide the functionality he desired.
In addition to the AV design, JFK was engaged to provide data services for the entire property. The site is a large heritage-listed sheep shearing station and wool store, and redevelopments also included a shearing shed which was to become a museum and the original village including butcher shop, school, chapel and workshop. Other buildings were being converted into boutique accommodation for approximately 80 guests. The village was spread out over a very large area and the client wished all locations to have strong and reliable WiFi access, but also be linked back to the main function centre.
This was a fully-customised, special project that required the development of a custom user interface to control the various sub-systems. Once the full scope was known, we decided on Savant to provide control of the system and integration for lighting, shades, security, AV and distributed audio.
Spaces at Goonoo Goonoo Station
A new restaurant was built between the shearing shed and wool store. This incorporated a new commercial kitchen, restaurant facilities, amenities, and also a communications hub that became the primary rack location for the majority of hardware installed. The ceiling of the restaurant was architecturally designed with limited consideration for speakers, but the client’s objective was to have very high quality and evenly spread sound to achieve a superb ambience. This produced a number of challenges in how to conceal the speakers but still surpass the performance requirements. Within the constraints of very high quality audio, discrete and stylish visual impact, set financial limitations and constantly-changing design requirements, JFK had to continuously think outside the box and develop some very bespoke solutions.
Dynalite was the system selected to control the architectural lighting, shades and multi-speed ceiling fans. The ordering system was reliant on the commercial-grade WiFi network, enabling staff to take food orders via iPads. The outdoor courtyard and seating deck were also covered via installation of external access points.
The client’s audio needs were very specific: even spread of sound at low volume throughout the restaurant, while also being able to accommodate a larger social event. We chose Sonance’s Discrete Opening System using a total of 15 satellite speakers and four in-ceiling subwoofers. To achieve the discrete appearance, JFK assisted with the design of custom MDF channels to hold the lights and speakers in an array formation. The amenities area used four pendant speakers with discrete volume control, and for the outdoor courtyard we used weatherproof speakers neatly tucked under the eaves.
The Wool Store was a unique project in itself; a wedding and function facility with three separate areas that needed to have the option of being used individually or in combination, depending on the requirements of the guests. Each bay of the wool store needed projection display facilities with an accompanying audio system. These requirements came with the strict guidelines regarding the heritage listing of the building, which meant projector and speaker mounts needed be custom designed to meet specifications.
Continuing to deliver sound quality excellence, we installed a pro audio system to achieve higher sound pressure levels and a better quality experience for guests in a busy social event. Working in tandem was a wireless microphone system for speeches. The strict heritage building guidelines meant that the three projection systems required custom projector brackets, and we worked with local contractors to design a discrete solution. The solution involved building offset projector mounts and custom housings for the projector screens, with integrated blinds behind to block out light and create a strong visual impact for function clients. Further customisation came in the form of specifically designed floor boxes to conceal connection plates, giving the ability to connect to any of the three function areas and play a variety of AV sources on any selected screen via the Dynalite switches or Savant control interface on the iPad. To make the system as easy to use as possible for the guests, commonly used AV functions were added to the Dynalite wall panels
To deliver high quality audio during wedding ceremonies, the Chapel required its own discrete speaker and microphone system. Due to the nature of the space and the ceremonies being hosted in the Chapel, it was important that the environment was perceived to be as tech-free as possible. A variety of measures were used to achieve this including installation of equipment under the floorboards, with an access hatch built in. In-ceiling speakers were aligned with the original timber ceiling panels (in accordance with heritage requirements) and a battery-powered outdoor speaker allowed for ceremonies to be conducted outside the Chapel in the surrounding gardens.
A commercial-grade wired and wireless networking system was implemented to meet the varied needs of staff, guests and the AV and control systems. With the village located over 300 meters away from the communication hub, fibre optic cable links with multiple cores were adopted as the most reliable solution, and one which best-enabled future proofing and redundancy. Separate VLANs were created on the network to segregate the activities of staff and guests.
Development of the Savant user interface was critical as the client insisted that a new staff member had to be able to pick up the iPad and operate it, even without tuition. The entire interface was designed and developed in advance and bench-tested at our office with actual hardware to ensure everything was working to 100%. This process was essential as the job site was located approximately 500km away from our office, and we didn’t have the benefit of leaving and returning to site if items weren’t working as expected.
In managing a remote project like this, we found that scheduling and writing detailed work-orders were essential. We had a limited number of hours on site and needed to get a set number of tasks completed in time, otherwise we could risk delaying the project. With such significant consequences for any time overruns, we also needed to ensure that our other project work wasn’t unduly affected. We found that by using the task scheduling features of custom integration software D-Tools, we were able to successfully manage our time and ensure that the project delivery stayed on track across a variety of metrics for our client and our business.