Tomi Björck is one of Finland’s best-known chefs and restaurateurs. With ten restaurants and two bakeries already to his name across Finland, Sweden and Australia, Björck with his wife Minka and three other associates embarked on their latest project in Spring 2020. Lily Lee, in the heart of the Finnish capital of Helsinki, offers a range of unique dishes
inspired by Taiwanese cuisine, Hong Kong’s street kitchens and classical Cantonese cooking. Finnish AV integrator, 4Business Oy, installed a Genelec loudspeaker system in the environmentally friendly RAW aluminium finish to enhance the dark, sultry interior with a high class audio experience that blends perfectly into the lush surroundings.
In fact, Björck contacted Genelec directly for his latest project. 4Business’s Janne Lankinen was unsurprised by Björck’s choice. “Music and atmosphere are crucial elements for Tomi at all of his venues, so an easy-to-use, high quality audio system was a must-have feature for Lily Lee. Whilst he aims for a relaxed atmosphere, the emphasis is always on quality and natural materials and ingredients – whether it be the quality of the food, the furnishings, or the sound system. It therefore comes as no surprise that he went straight to Genelec for his audio requirements.”
“We have had Genelec loudspeakers in almost all of our restaurants and there is no other brand we would go with,” confirms Lily Lee’s Minka Björck. “The full, rounded sound of Genelec is key for us and it is totally unique. No other brand sounds quite like it. We like to play music quite loud in our venues, so sound quality is super important. Finally, we love the sleek look of the loudspeakers, they work really well with our décor.”
Lankinen and his team installed a total of twelve Genelec 4030 installation loudspeakers in the distinctive RAW finish across the three areas of the restaurant. “The RAW aluminium finish blends beautifully with the dark, slightly industrial feel of the restaurant, even adding an aesthetic touch of its own,” says Lankinen. “The 4030s deliver excellent acoustic output and controlled directivity from a pleasingly compact enclosure, and of course they match all of the client’s requirements in terms of a minimised carbon footprint thanks to sustainable production practices and an extended product lifecycle. When you add top notch build quality and high brand value to the list, it’s difficult for clients to consider anything else!”
The twelve 4030s were installed as a zoned, distributed system throughout the restaurant, lounge and bar. For processing and routing, 4Business opted for a Symetrix Prism 4×4 Dante processor and a T5 touchscreen control panel loaded with 4Business’s own graphical user interface for straightforward fingertip management and control. “We have found that this combination is perfect for restaurant staff as a low-threshold, easy-to-use control solution in hospitality environments,” remarks Lankinen. “It gives them everything they need – and no more!”
“I’m really pleased with what we’ve achieved here as it wasn’t as straightforward as you might think,” he continues. “We had all but finalised our designs when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and of course, that changed everything. The hospitality industry has been particularly hard hit – even if here in Finland I think we were spared the worst of it. Opening a new business in the hospitality sector during these times represents a considerable risk, and so we were pretty much forced to go back to the drawing board in order to keep costs to a minimum. The challenge, of course, was that the initial requirements hadn’t changed – we still needed to provide high class music reproduction with excellent coverage and enough SPL capacity to handle DJ performances during weekends. As a result, we had to be pretty creative with our design – especially in terms of loudspeaker alignment – in order to deliver the same stunning results with fewer loudspeakers than initially planned.
“Frankly, the 4000 Series loudspeakers that we opted for in the end have really proven their worth,” concludes Lankinen. “They are truly excellent loudspeakers for this kind of environment. The RAW finish looks superb and thanks to some clever loudspeaker placement and judicious use of the onboard room compensation controls plus a tiny bit of external processing, the system sounds amazing. I’m grateful that the customer has been able to open a new high-end restaurant during a difficult year, and that we have had the honour of being a part of it.”