St Clement Danes Church on The Strand in London is in the process of being restored, in preparation for the RAF’s 100th anniversary celebrations in 2018, a major part of which has been the installation of a Bose Panaray audio system.
Designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century, before going through a rebuild after WWII bombings, St Clement Danes is a Grade I listed building and the Central Church of the Royal Air Force.
The brief for the new audio system was for a solution that would allow a full congregation to hear every word spoken and enjoy both recorded and live music. However, the Grade I listed status of the church meant special consideration had to be given to the aesthetics of the building, with speakers delivering quality sound without being obtrusive, and cable runs being all but invisible.
Ashdown AV, a Bose Pro Partner with extensive experience in introducing discreet audio into heritage buildings, was selected to install a system designed by engineers at Bose working with audio consultant, Gordon Thrussell.
The solution consists of four Bose Panaray MA-12 line array speakers situated in the body of the church, with eight Bose FreeSpace DS100SE speakers placed above the balcony. Bass support comes from two concealed Bose Panaray MB12s and the system is driven by a Bose PowerMatch 8250 amplifier, with two linked ControlSpace DSPs using Dante cards to offer control from two separate locations.
Liam Pickett, installation engineer at Ashdown explained: “The cabling had to run within the wooden panelling, and out of sightlines, and although we could remove some panels, it was a labour of love getting the system to blend into the décor of the church. The Dante capability of the Bose system meant that we could install a single cat5 cable and link the two processors via the network, thus avoiding additional cabling. The Bose speakers give a great even sound coverage across the whole church.”
The Reverend David Osborn commented: “We have many events happening on a daily basis, from regular church services, weddings and christenings, to live concerts and official RAF services including the Laying Up of a Squadron Standard when a squadron is disbanded, or Memorial Services for those who have died whilst serving in the RAF. It is important to ensure that everyone is able to hear everything clearly. With the new sound system, this is no longer an issue, and I eagerly await the celebrations in 2018, when we will celebrate 100 years of the RAF.”