Tech Guide: Inside 97.3FM & 4KQ’s new Brisbane studios

• Designed and project managed by strategic workplace design agency, Graham Nichola

On Thursday night, ARN celebrated the launch of Brisbane 97.3FM and 4KQ’s new industry-leading radio broadcast studios with an exclusive housewarming party. Close to 120 guests were in attendance, including Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who officially opened the new studios.

Read more: ARN’s Ciaran Davis launches new Brisbane home for 97.3FM and 4KQ

Below is a summary of the tech and design involved in the relocation.

The Technology:

In an Australian industry-first, ARN is the only commercial radio broadcaster ever to build audio production facilities that provide a perfect balance of Production and Broadcast technology – Dante digital audio integrated with Broadcast Livewire. The set-up allows for premium radio content creation, with producers having direct access to all live on-air audio sources, as well as being able to live mix straight to air, from the production studios.

ARN is also the first commercial radio network in the country to integrate new Axia Audio Over Internet Protocol (AOIP) technology across all of its on-air and production radio systems. The ARN Melbourne studios were first in January, with the new purpose-built 97.3FM and 4KQ Brisbane facility going live in mid-May.

ARN achieved a successful broadcast transition to the new studios in a record time of three and a half weeks. Through a combination of sourcing the right engineering talent by pulling resources from ARN’s Sydney, Melbourne and Perth offices to reduce interruptions to the Brisbane studios, to working effectively via a ‘plug and play’ project approach with their suppliers – the installation process was literally seamless.

To enhance efficiency and comfort of staff, throughout the new Brisbane offices motion sensors detect movement and light areas as required, and audio monitoring can be controlled by anyone sitting at their desk. The meeting rooms are all centrally managed by the Microsoft booking system with iPads mounted in each room, giving real-time information for room availability.

The views to the Brisbane River and city feature prominently in the studios, and even the blinds can be controlled via the radio panel.

The Design:

Designed and project managed by strategic workplace design agency, Graham Nicholas, visually the studio incorporates some of the most beautiful aspects of Queensland and Brisbane through the use of the Queensland colours of white, blue, green and sand, and inspiration from the Story Bridge, Queensland beaches and Queensland architecture.

The exterior of the 97.3FM studio is themed around the iconic Queenslander home, while the 4KQ studio is clad in Spotted Gum timber battens, referencing a more contemporary Queensland architectural style.

It was important for ARN to develop studios that maximised space and natural light, encouraged airflow, and made a significant contribution to overall staff wellbeing, inspiration and productivity. The result is a spacious office with panoramic windows, beaming in natural light through the open plan layout, along with captivating river and city views.

Entertainment at the heart:

Entertainment options for guests, clients and listeners was also a large focus of the ARN Brisbane studio move – with a key appeal being an on-site entertainment area designed to fit 120 people comfortably, complete with stunning views of the river, city and Suncorp Stadium.

Additional benefits come in the form of the studio’s adjoining, heritage-listed Milton House – the original homestead for the area dating back to 1852. A rare example of 1950s Colonial Georgian architecture and one of the oldest surviving houses in Brisbane with a rich history, Milton House offers a swimming pool, tennis court and additional internal meeting spaces as extra offerings.

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