Opened in February 2018, the ‘Magnetic Latvia’ Business Information Centre at Riga International Airport will welcome more than 280,000 visitors to the country through its doors over the course of the next three years. An impactful gateway to make a memorable impression when arriving in or leaving the country, the centre is an initiative funded by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) – with its sophisticated AV set up driven by AV Stumpfl’s award-winning Wings Engine Stage media server.
Located in departure sector C and open daily from 10am to 7pm, the centre acts as a first touchpoint with Latvia for foreign and local visitors – businessmen, diplomats and tourists alike – with LIAA staff on hand to provide information about business opportunities and the country’s top attractions. Two separate rooms are fully equipped for meetings and presentations, but with the flexibility to arrange them as one: a space that can be used interchangeably as an open office to run through a presentation or print documents, or a meeting place before or after flights.
Zane Biteniece, Project Manager at LIAA, explained how ‘Magnetic Latvia’ was conceived, “We agreed a contract with Riga International Airport to use the space for a three-year period, backed by state funding of over 400,000 Euros for the construction and maintenance of the centre – such is the project’s significance to the advancement of Latvian interests. Its purpose is to serve as one of the first and last stopping points for guests, providing us with a platform on which to showcase all that Latvia has to offer – whether it be in terms of business, tourism or diplomatic affairs.”
Award-winning architects Open AD won the public tender to design the impressive 347 m2 centre, with AV integrator SOLAVI winning a second tender for the media installation, as it offered the best solution based on quality and price. Ints Berzins is CEO and System Designer at SOLAVI and explored the brief: “LIAA wanted to create a modern and truly unique business centre; so Open AD was looking for a partner specialising not only in AV solutions, but that could also provide smart automation. Based on references and recommendations, we were asked to take part in this amazing project.”
With work on the centre commencing in November 2017, it was completed in just three months – and SOLAVI turned to AV Stumpfl to provide its Wings Stage Engine media server solution capable of controlling with ease all the technology elements in the space – including video, audio, lighting, power and network. Berzins confirmed, “AV Stumpfl was the natural choice as we knew that its powerful media server could cover all systems ‘under one roof’.”
Versatile, powerful and robust, the Wings Engine Stage is a technologically advanced media server system which stands up to the rigours of a high footfall venue such as Magnetic Latvia where over 100 guests are expected to actively use the facility, while meeting the requirements of a multitude of different AV set up configurations. Featuring a solid hardware platform and automatic camera based softedge and warping calibration, it has DVI/3G-SDI Live inputs and virtually no resolution and content limitations. Its wide ranging feature set combines hardware reliability with software flexibility – perfect for this kind of variable space.
“With Wings Stage Engine deployed, the client can select and playback every single video, switch on and off the full system – and most importantly, create contemporary, interactive content for a big LED screen centrepiece. LIAA wanted to make a series of unique landscape videos in high resolution within a tight timeframe. The Wings Stage Engine software helped to create bespoke video layouts and multimedia materials in a very simple and intuitive way.”
A 10x3m wide LED screen positioned along the main wall is where these short films play and relay stories about Latvian people, business, nature, art, culture, traditions and tourism. Commenting on the experience of using AV Stumpfl’s system, Biteniece said, “We are really satisfied and happy with our choice. The system can only be described as user-friendly, simple and intelligible – and is exactly what we expected and were hoping for in terms of its functionality. We even organised live broadcasts from our Business Forum and showed the Latvian Song and Dance festival on the big screen, which really impressed visitors.”
The space is finished with interior elements which celebrate Latvian culture and creative talent – from tree sculptures crafted of high-quality plywood to the extensive showcase of Latvian-designed goods, introducing visitors to the country’s craftsmen. The end result is a spectacular space which makes a lasting impact on anyone arriving in or departing from the country.
Berzins reflected on the end result: “We are very proud of the centre, which has become a real jewel in Latvia’s crown. Not only is the client is extremely satisfied with the result, but airport visitors are enjoying this fabulous space in which they can meet or rest immensely – and it leaves a great first impression of our country. It was a pleasure to work with the AV Stumpfl team on this project – they are the gurus of the media server world – and we look forward to delivering many more exciting future projects together.”
“Our centre – whether visiting for business or for pleasure – beautifully conveys the best of what Latvia has to offer and a leaves guests with a deeper understanding of who we are and what we are about. We are delighted with this unique space – drawing together all the different elements of Latvian culture and creating a unique introduction to our country. Our thanks go to SOLAVI for introducing us to AV Stumpfl’s media server which helps tie all the elements together seamlessly and is central how successful the centre has been,” concluded Biteniece
Photography by LIAA