â€œIt was a complex piece of engineeringâ€?. Thatâ€™s what Bill Moore of Techniarts said about the clamp system, custom designed by Polar Focus, that he used to install a Renkus Heinz Iconyx IC24 loudspeaker in the Great Hall of Justice. The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington D.C., where the Hall is located, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site. No part of the installation could be allowed to penetrate the building, nor its decorative stone and metalwork.
The tall, slender Iconyx speaker line is designed to blend into the architecture wherever it is installed. For Techniarts, Renkus Heinz custom painted the IC24 to match the surrounding stonework. So far, so good. But how can you permanently mount a speaker up off the floor if you canâ€™t drill any holes? This was the question that Bill Moore brought to Polar Focus.
First off, only one speaker was required, as the acoustic beam from the steerable IC24 focuses the sound on the audience, not on the highly reverberant walls and floor. So, the problem of how to mount the speaker only had to be solved once. As always, accurate data must be acquired in order to design and fabricate precise speaker mounting hardware. It was determined that mounting could be to a small balcony, which features decorative metalwork, at the top of the speaker and to a railing at the bottom. Mike Akrep, engineer for Polar Focus, asked Bill Moore to provide very accurate dimensioning of the cross section of the balcony railing. And he needed to determine which parts of the cross section would permit clamping without crushing any of the decorative metalwork. With some back and forth Bill and Mike were able to figure out how to mount the Iconyx IC24 flush to the architecture while following the clientâ€™s requirement that no part of the building be penetrated. In addition, the resulting custom clamp was painted in a â€œhammered pewterâ€? paint color to match the metalwork. Neoprene pads under the clamping components were used to further protect the metalwork, terrazzo and marble architectural features.
As can be seen in the photo, the desired result of a nearly â€œinvisibleâ€? speaker combined with noninvasive attachment was achieved, and the Great Hall of Justice now has clear, intelligible sound for all its events.
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