The Courtroom posed a number of acoustical challenges
UK - A Grade II listed building in the centre of Nottingham, 50 Shakespeare Street was purchased in 2012 by Nottingham Trent University, since when it has undergone works to restore many key listed features as well as enjoying a complete internal refurbishment.

In recent times POLARaudio has established a strong connection with NTU. A recent installation at its Brackenhurst Library site prompted the university to contact the company with a view to tackling issues of sound-reinforcement and supplying conferencing solutions at its recently acquired site. The restoration of a listed building under the watchful gaze of English Heritage is a process that demands great care and sensitivity and a proven track record in designing systems for such sites further enhanced POLARaudio's credentials.

Roche AV, with whom POLARaudio already had a productive working relationship, was engaged to install the systems that POLARaudio had designed and NTU had enthusiastically approved. At the heart of 50 Shakespeare Street is the Courtroom with its domed, vaulted ceiling. This room was to perform a number of roles, from high level meetings and conferencing to evening presentations, with a view to eventually staging various social functions. In what is a very reverberant space, the brief demanded high-quality conferencing and sound-reinforcement provision which in no way compromised the visual integrity of the room. The nearby boardroom required a similarly high-grade conferencing system to address the need for video and tele-conferencing.

To cater for the obvious difficulties of providing sound-reinforcement in a room devoid of soft furnishings, rich in hard surfaces and topped off with a domed ceiling, POLARaudio turned to the beam-steering technology offered by the Renkus-Heinz Iconyx range.

Two Iconyx IC-8 speakers were installed in the Courtroom adjacent to columns, their discreet aesthetic enabling them to blend in as required by the heritage brief. Audio provision in the Courtroom was also supported by the addition of a portable Cornered Audio C12 PNC Subwoofer powered by MC2 T-500 amplifier, should the need arise to further enhance for example, music playback. A wireless beyerdynamic Quinta system was chosen for the Courtroom's conferencing requirements.

In the smaller Boardroom, which constituted a more traditional set-up directed towards video and tele-conferencing, Revoluto technology was employed in the shape of 10 MPR 210 Revoluto Microphone units controlled by Biamp's Audia FLEX digital audio platform.

(Jim Evans)


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