Fit For A King: Yamaha Helps Transform Former Abbey Into The Heart Of A Community

As society evolves, the uses for historic buildings also change and, sometimes, disappear. Some of these buildings are replaced, others stand empty before submitting to nature or demolition contractors. However, happily some are restored and enjoy a whole new lease of life. This is the case at Ons Koningsoord, a former Trappist abbey and monastery, where a major Yamaha audio system has helped it to become the vibrant new heart of the Dutch village of Berkel-Enschot.

Located near the city of Tilburg, the impressive Ons Koningsoord (translated as Our King’s Place) building was not allowed to decay when its days as a monastery came to an end. An ambitious plan was made to renovate, modernise and extend it, to provide apartments for both ‘starters’ and the over-55s, plus facilities including a community and cultural centre, library, youth club, nursery, shop, music school, multifunctional rooms and restaurant.

What sets this project apart is that it is has a real, living community at its heart. It is designed to provide an enriching way of life for its residents, where each gives a little, but receives a lot in return.

The AV facilities were designed and installed by Dennis van der Vleuten, of Oisterwijk-based Klundert Audiovisual. As is often the case, the technical infrastructure is complex, but its operation needs to be very clear and straightforward. Yamaha audio systems are the ideal solution for these needs, here covering four main areas; the foyer, restaurant, Kerkzaal (Church Room) and Kapittelzaal (Chapter Room).

The foyer houses a bar, billiard tables and other recreational facilities. Here an MTX3 matrix processor manages an audio system comprising 16 VXS5W loudspeakers, with three VXS3FW loudspeakers in the toilets, all powered by an XMV8280 amplifier and controlled by an iPad running Yamaha’s ProVisionaire Touch app. Divided into four separately-controlled zones (bar, billiard tables, toilets and outdoors), the audio inputs include microphones, a Spotify feed and an audio feed from the installed video screens.

In the restaurant - located on two floors - 12 VXS5W, nine VXS3FW and one VXC4W loudspeakers cover six zones (bar, lounge/hallway, each floor of the restaurant, terrace and toilets), with another XMV8280, MTX3 and ProVisionaire Touch for power and control.

“The system is configured so that, wherever you are in the restaurant, you hear high quality, even sound,” says Dennis.

The Kerkzaal is used for presentations and music events, also doubling as a library. Here PX10, PX8 and PX5 power amplifiers and another MTX3, plus ProVisionaire Touch, power and control a system that also features a TF1 mixing console and Tio1608-D i/o unit.

"The MTX3 has a number of pre-programmed presets. It includes one for using the TF1 and Tio1608-D on live events," says Dennis. "The system is also configured so an additional mixing console can be brought in for larger productions."

Kapittelzaal is a multifunctional space with a straightforward AV setup that includes another MTX-3, a PX3 power amplifier, two VXS8W loudspeakers and a surface-mounted DCP4V4S controller.

“The DCP4V4S allows the different input sources to be mixed and pre-programmed presets on the MTX3 recalled,” says Dennis.

He continues, “I am really happy with how Yamaha’s installation products have allowed me to design the system. It was easy to put together, it has extensive programming capabilities, it’s very reliable and is very straightforward for the end user to operate. In daily use the staff at Ons Koningsoord are very pleased with it.”