2008 Judges' Award: Oneworld Lounge
Ever wonder, while stuck waiting for a delayed flight, what it's like in those first- and business-class lounges? The Oneworld Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport is probably just as you imagined: a comfy-but-slick retreat offering free food and drinks, plus really cool AV extras you would never find out in the main gate areas.
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EVER WONDER, WHILE STUCK WAITING FOR A DELAYED FLIGHT, WHAT IT'S LIKE in those first- and business-class lounges? The Oneworld Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport is probably just as you imagined: a comfy-but-slick retreat offering free food and drinks, plus really cool AV extras you would never find out in the main gate areas—42-inch and 52-inch plasma televisions showing DirecTV, zoned music programmed by Prescriptive Music, free Wi-Fi, and video art throughout.
In the reception area, a 3x3 seamless video art display made of nine Akira MIS4220 plasma displays gives international first- and business-class travelers a peek at what awaits them. Video art is found throughout the lounge on Samsung displays: a single, dedicated display in the shower area, and—when they are not tuned into television programming—five around the bar area, one in the VIP lounge, and one in the business lounge. One challenge the AV team had to overcome with the display installation was LAX's insistence that the lounge be connected to its CATV system, which didn't support HD signals. A variance was obtained, and now guests can watch HD DirecTV carried over the Cat-5 infrastructure.
An unusual aspect of the $253,000 job was the request for a shower paging system, says Jason Gottfredson, an AV consultant with Veneklasen Associates. Using the AMX control system, the host at the main reception desk can look at the panel to see if there is an available shower. If all nine showers are occupied, the guest is given a JTECH coaster-style pager, similar to what you might get in a restaurant. Pressing a button on the keypad assigns the shower. Once the guest is finished in the room, a cleaning crew cleans it and then presses a button on the signaling panel in the shower area to let the host know that the shower is ready to be assigned.
According to Gottfredson, the lounge's AV was a key factor in ensuring that the partners of the Oneworld Alliance (Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and British Airways) were able of offer competitive amenities for its first- and business-class guest traveling through Los Angeles.
Pro Sound CA, North Hollywood, Calif.
Veneklasen Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.
Gensler, Santa Monica, Calif.