The Pound Bar & Kitchen in the former Canterbury jail
UK - The Pound Bar & Kitchen has become the first evidence of the redevelopment of Canterbury's 600-year old jail after the local council awarded the lease of one of its famous landmarks to One Pound Lane Ltd. Part of the complex, that includes the Westgate Towers Museum, dates back to 1380.

Headed by lighting installation and interior design specialist Steve Allen (of Lightqube Ltd), the team of contractors has restored former police station cells never before open to the public, transforming them into private dining rooms as part of the atmospheric restaurant and bar, retaining original details such as the Victorian glazed bricks and cell doors complete with oversized locks and inspection hatches.

All these spaces required sensitive treatment in order to respect the heritage, and the technical infrastructure was dependent on a discreet, potent and aesthetic sound system. All the requirements were met within the JBL catalogue, supplied by Harman Professional dealer, James O'Leary at We Know AV.

His mission was made easier by the support he received from JBL's UK & Ireland distributors, Sound Technology Ltd., who undertook a full site survey and advised the operators on the best solutions.

Allen, and business partner James Caldon, are committed JBL users and this will be the third project on which they have worked with James O'Leary (but the first as clients). When complete, the reinvigorated site will include a museum and event space, and will have cost the lessees around £500,000.

Promising to continue the legacy of the building's previous owner, who died in 2012, Steve Allen said, "I normally fit out bars and higher end residencies as Lightqube but this time we decided to do our own thing; this was a great opportunity.

"My preference is always for JBL. It has good brand recognition, a great sound and it is sensibly priced. They are also compact and look great. We have also received great support from Sound Technology since using them for the first time in 2012."

Sound Technology's Danny Kyte carried out the site survey, specifying three AC16 and a pair of ASB6115 high power lightweight enclosures for the main Bar & Kitchen, with the JBL Control 50 satellite package (incorporating four Control 52 and Control 50S/T subs), powered by two Crown DriveCore DCI (4 x 300) and DriveCore DCI (2 x 300) multi-channel amps, plus Crown XTi 4002 and XTi 6002 amplifiers. All were installed by Ben Bailes at Oculux Ltd.

Hugo Burnard from the Sound Technology Project Team designed an ingenious custom panel for the BSS Soundweb London routing matrix, with a Soundweb BLU-100 12-in/8-out fixed format DSP at the hub.

To accomplish this he used Harman's HiQnet Motion Control. This Apple iOS app enables customised control interfaces designed in Harman's Audio Architect to be exported to an iPad, which controls Soundweb. This then uses AirPlay for wireless streaming the sound to 11 zones, including the 220-capacity main bar and 90-cover restaurant.

The zones themselves comprise four main restaurant/bar areas, four private dining rooms (the former police cells), and one each for the walkways, other cells and main bar area.

"Despite high vaulted ceilings the sound is amazing," confirms Steve Allen. "This required a different type of solution given the fact that this is an old prison, split into a lot of smaller rooms, and a discreet system was essential."

(Jim Evans)

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