Nottingham, UK | October, 2016 - Dating back to the 1880s, Number 50 Shakespeare Street in Nottingham is a Grade II listed historical landmark in this fabled northern city. Former home to the Nottingham City Council Registry Office, the beautiful gothic-style building was purchased in 2012 by Nottingham Trent University. Since then the University has been implementing a major renovation and restoration of the building, which includes administrative offices, a board room, meeting rooms, and a multi-use "Courtroom" for public meetings, mock trials, and other events.
UK-based POLARaudio has worked with the University on several previous projects, and was called upon to address a number of issues in the building, including conferencing and sound reinforcement solutions for the Courtroom. Installed by Roche AV, the sound system is based around a pair of Renkus-Heinz ICONYX steered arrays.
The Courtroom's domed ceiling and exquisite architecture make a stunning impact, but create challenges with spoken word intelligibility, which can be spotty and inconsistent across the seating areas. Poor coverage and intelligibility impacted not only meetings and conferencing, but hampered the effectiveness of other events, including presentations, speeches, and even background music.
To handle the needs of a multi-use facility with these challenging acoustics, POLARaudio turned to Renkus-Heinz Iconyx, installing a pair of IC8-R-II columns facing the audience seating. Iconyx digitally steered arrays enable the sound to be focused directly on the audience, while keeping it away from walls and other reflective surfaces.
The building's historical status demanded that the sound system could in no way compromise the visual integrity of the room. With Renkus-Heinz providing a precise color matching, the Iconyx speaker columns were installed adjacent to architectural columns, enabling them to blend in almost imperceptively.
POLARaudio reports that the University administration have been thrilled with the new system, and the project has been a true success story. As Martin Clay, Technical Director at Roche, summed it up, "As with all projects we've done with POLARaudio, this project was characterized by a great solution and satisfied customers."