On the outskirts of Amsterdam stands a five-story building that had been occupied by former Dutch postal service PTT Post and IBM.
When it was vacated, rather than let it decay, owner Bas van Veggel staged a contest with entrants invited to submit ideas for how to best use a large building that is some distance from the busy heart of Amsterdam, but close to Schipol airport.
This competition was won by Ricardo van Loenen, who teamed up with Guus Meulendijks to propose using the building for rented office and work space to small enterprises and sole traders with small budgets; facilities to supply food, drink and office “essentials” at low cost; and with areas to host events and meetings.
B.Amsterdam was born, with its motto “Relax Meet Work Create Think” displayed prominently over the main entrance.
From the beginning there was a need for AV facilities, so van Loenen asked Harmen van ‘t Loo of Motiondezign, a Yamaha Com-mercial Audio dealer, to become part of the creative team; van ‘t Loo is now co-owner of the Events department at B.Amsterdam and is responsible for all AV-related activities and the associated equipment.
He is progressively installing Yamaha audio equipment throughout the building, which currently includes 12 DXR10 loudspeakers, two DXS15 subs, MTX5-D matrix mixer, QL1 digital mixing console, Rio1608-D i/o unit, EXo8 output expander and DCP1V4S wall-mounted control panel in a meeting area on the ground floor and 10 pairs of VXS5W loudspeakers, each with an MA2030 compact mixer amplifier, in meeting rooms.
The ground floor meeting area allows up to 1,000 seats to be arranged in different configurations. The requirements of almost every event are unique, so it is designed to be very flexible.
The DXR10 loudspeakers, chosen because of their specialty in speech applications, were flown in a matrix from the ceiling. Controlled by the MTX5 and configured so they can be quickly orientated at different angles, this allows only the speakers needed to cover a specific event to be in use.
“The QL1 is installed at a fixed mix position and users love its Dugan auto mixer, which really helps with the difficult room acoustics,” van ‘t Loo says. “The MTX5 is controlled remotely via a laptop next to the QL1, making for a very flexible and efficient control solution.”
He continues, “B.Amsterdam also features many small breakout rooms, which are used for meetings and presentations. We found the MA2030 mixer amplifier and VXC5 speakers were excellent for the basic audio needs in those rooms, whose inputs are usually no more than a microphone and a laptop. The functionality is foolproof, they sound good and users are very happy with them.”
He adds that a large Dante network is being prepped for building-wide and more demanding audio applications. As a first phase, van ‘t Loo recently installed two pairs of VXS8 and six DXR8 loudspeakers, plus a Dante-enabled XMV4280-D power amplifier, in additional areas.