The school's mission is to develop the talents of all students to the full and to raise educational standards
UK - Hammersmith Academy is a new school designed for the 21st century. Opened in September 2011 the Academy is all-ability, non-denominational, co-educational secondary school for 11-18 year olds. With specialisms in Creative-and-Digital Media and IT and an emphasis on technology, the school's mission is to develop the talents of all students to the full and to raise educational standards.

Integrator Saville Audio Visual was appointed alongside POLARaudio to provide a flexible PA system for Hammersmith Academy's multi-purpose performance space. The space is utilised as a lecture theatre, assembly hall, drama studio and general performance area.

The brief was to provide a high quality PA system that could be employed for each function of the multi-purpose auditorium. Three Bi-amp Audia Flex mainframe DSP's with Cobranet are at the heart of the system and are fed via a variety of audio sources (microphones, iPod, studio feed etc.) to fill the auditorium with high quality audio. The three Biamp Audia Flex and five high powered multi-channel amplifiers are located in a dedicated equipment room, which is situated next to the control room and editing suite overlooking the auditorium.

The system incorporates a quantity of beyerdynamic radio microphones in addition to wired microphone technology for audio capture; connection points have been mounted at the front of the auditorium for additional microphones to be added. Six line level connections are available at the pit area for the connection of musical instruments. A quantity of full range speakers, subwoofers and wedge monitors are situated around the auditorium providing high quality sound and 5.1 capabilities.

To enable flexible communication between staff, technicians and students an ASL Intercom talkback system has been installed, employing a mixture of speaker stations and belt-packs, with various connection points located around the auditorium.

Mark Bromfield, business development manager POLARaudio commented, "The client required a flexible, easy to operate system that would be used by both technical and non-technical staff for a variety of events, from lectures to drama performances. To enable this functionality we routed all of the inputs and outputs to and from the system via the Biamp Audia Flex (controlled by an AMX system), allowing the user to operate in manual mode using the mixing console for large drama shows and awards ceremonies or automatic mode for lectures, school assemblies and 5.1 cinema."

Colin Firth, Saville Audio Visual added, "POLARaudio worked alongside us on this installation from the design stage, supporting the Saville's team and assisting in ensuring the client brief was met on time and within budget. The Academy was one of three new academy projects we worked on in conjunction with POLARaudio, Installing intelligent, flexible PA systems with Biamp Audia Flex at the heart of them."

(Jim Evans)

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