L-Acoustics help the Institute of Physics in new London HQ

L-Acoustics help the Institute of Physics in new London HQ.

The Institute of Physics (IOP) for the UK and Ireland have an impressive new London HQ, built from the ground-up with a modern architectural statement that has AV designed-in from the start.

The polished concrete structure of this £13.5 million project brings focus to the large screens and interactive experiences that will greet more than 200,000 IOP visitors every year. It is a space that radiates cutting-edge science, and one that required visual and audio technologies to be as much a part of its essence as the concrete itself.

Recursive AV, the AV consultant on the project, had the unique opportunity to liaise with and influence the architects more than two years before completion, allowing them to achieve the best visitor experience possible.

David Yates, the Managing Director at Recursive, went about choosing premium technologies to complement the institute’s ambitious aims, including specifying L-Acoustics Syva and Kiva as the ideal audio solutions. “We really felt that the IOP deserved a high-end audio approach,” David said. “They have people coming from all over the world: academics, policymakers, broadcasters, and so on. We wanted to be sure that the sonic quality and the visual impact would be absolutely correct, and that the system could cope with a challenging space. We needed to deliver fantastic intelligibility and a consistent sonic signature in several configurations.”

Recursive used L-Acoustics Soundvision 3D modelling software to design the system and predict the outcomes. “With Soundvision, what you model, is what you get,” David said. “It’s fantastic at predicting the real-life response, which is not necessarily true with other products. We trust the process.”

Recursive selected L-Acoustics Syva for left and right speakers around the main gallery screen, along with four 108P and an SB15P sub that can be deployed in flexible ways around the gallery, dependent on need. Two Kiva II are hung in the auditorium, left and right, with two more SB15m subs.

David said: “For the auditorium, we needed a wide stereo image and something that would punch while keeping the sound consistent when it’s opened up. It’s also got a low ceiling. Kiva II is a compact box and works really well in that area.”

David acknowledged that the IOP facility has been a challenging system to design but notes that the flexibility of the L-Acoustics range and the accuracy of Soundvision’s predictions played a big part in getting it right the first time.