Since 1996, LAs Skirball Cultural Center has gained a reputation as one of the
world’s foremost Jewish cultural institutions, a leading cultural venue and a truly
elegant event space designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie. With the latest
addition to their campus, the 44,000-square-foot Herscher Hall/Guerin Pavilion,
Skirball has dramatically enhanced its ability to serve the 600,000 some patrons
who visit annually.
Lauded by the New York Times as a lesson on how to connect the eye to heart and
mind, the Guerin Pavilion combines exceptional versatility and high aesthetics and
features a state-of-the art A/V system in which Tannoy’s Dual Concentric
loudspeakers are integral components.
The Dual Concentric design originally comes from our studio monitors from back in
the day, says Dudley McLaughlin, Consultant Manager, Install and Tour, North
America, for TC Group. And the intelligibility and musicality they offer is a huge
part of why they’re used when clarity is critical.
The bulk of the TANNOY loudspeakers used in the project were deployed in the
facility’s 9166-square-foot ballroom; a distinctive and highly flexible space ideal for
conferences, corporate gatherings and celebrations of virtually any description.
It’s a complicated space meant to fulfill many roles, says Corey Salvatore, CTS,
Senior Consultant at Acentech, designers of the venues audiovisual, architectural
acoustics and IT systems. The ballroom can be partitioned into three spaces or a
combination thereof and there are four meeting rooms on the third floor above it,
for smaller events, or for overflow for events taking place in the ballroom.
Mr. Salvatore worked closely with project architect Belinda Valenti (then Associate
Principle of Safdie Architects) to ensure the seamless integration of the audiovisual
elements into the architecture of the space. The resulting facility, which won the
2014 BizBash National Event Style Award for Best New Venue for Meetings and
Events, is spectacular, says, Ben Elisondo, Vice President, Operations for Skirball.
Aesthetics and high quality sound reinforcement were equally important
considerations, Salvatore says, and influenced his choice of TANNOY for
reinforcement of speech and music in the ballroom and meeting rooms.
In all, 8 rows of 5 TANNOY VX 12HP loudspeakers running the length of the
ballroom are mounted on truss suspended from the ceiling and concealed from the
audience by decorative, aluminum elements. The VX 12s are time aligned so when
the entire ballroom is in use the sound appears to be coming from the stage end of
the room. They are also zoned to optimize coverage and eliminate feedback when
the ballroom is partitioned, Mr. Salvatore says.
Additionally, 2 TANNOY CMS 501DCs and 2 iw 6TDCs were installed in the meeting
rooms for use during events held in those spaces or in tandem with the VX 12s. The
iw 6s are mounted behind acoustic panels, which have a cut-out for a video display,
keeping them visually unobtrusive. It’s a very high aesthetic space throughout and
the iw and CMS allowed us to get quality audio and full frequency range without
sacrificing aesthetics, Mr. Salvatore says. Like the ballroom, these spaces also have
a glass wall on one side and the iws wide and controlled dispersion pattern helped
Other elements include a Biamp Tesira audio DSP platform for providing the audio
processing and routing, Crown amplifiers to drive the loudspeakers, wireless
Crestron control and a variety of input and playback options in each space.
From an install perspective, the central challenge was mounting the VX 12s behind
the decorative cloud skin features, without sacrificing sound quality, says Eric
Johnson, Design Engineer at AVDB Group, the integrators on the project. But
everything blended nicely and the system was easy to tune even though the room
was fairly reverberant.