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Bahá'í House of Worship reflects on new Renkus-Heinz solution

Bahá'í House of Worship reflects on new Renkus-Heinz solution

Bahá'í House of Worship reflects on new Renkus-Heinz solution


Open daily and used primarily for personal prayer, reflection and meditation, the Bahá'í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois is a beautifully ornate building, featuring a main worship auditorium that rises 42m to its ceiling. However, for events requiring live sound, the HOW can now call on a Renkus-Heinz Iconyx solution to place sound directly onto the audience.

“The Iconyx allowed us to address the seating area with better coverage and gain before feedback than the original array,” said Erik Saari, vice president of sales and system design at Sound Planning Associates, the firm that integrated the system. “The new system improved intelligibility and coverage while remaining invisible to the audience.”

The inside décor includes intricate white ornamental concrete with crushed quartz patterns sitting on the internal façade, supported by 54 columns that gird the main seating area. The design also creates nine separate alcoves of seating, each angled towards the centre of the room. A single lectern sits between one section of the pillars.

A Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC24-RN was chosen as the primary loudspeaker to keep the sound off the peculiarities of the room. The ability to flexibly program the Iconyx steerable solution proved to be critical in the integration. The speaker needed to be placed behind a curtain and directly behind the lone lectern in the space.

“Using Renkus-Heinz’s solutions were critical here because, through the software, we were able to adjust the acoustic centre to a higher point on the array,” said Aaron Johnson, the AV consultant at Threshold Acoustics who designed the system. “This allowed us to avoid the lectern and to get better coverage up close in the front row while still placing sound all the way at the back.”

The system also uses six Renkus-Heinz TX81 compact two-way complex conic loudspeakers to improve coverage across the challenging alcoves. These speakers are also hidden behind ornate grates that were once used as an old HVAC system.

“Having integrated many Iconyx systems over the years, I would place this project in the top five,” Saari added. “The client was initially concerned that the array would not cover the area but, in the end, they were impressed with the outcome. Renkus-Heinz has consistently delivered outstanding loudspeakers and dealer support for us.”

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