Located Blasieholmen district of Stockholm, top-ranking independent Swedish law firm Cederquist recently commissioned architecture and interior design firm Studio Stockholm, architectural lighting designers Node Ljusdesign, and Genelec integration partner JML-System, to create a working space that would serve as an office yet feel like a welcoming living space.

One of the greatest challenges to this was finding a loudspeaker to address an acoustically challenging space using natural and often reflective materials.

CederquistStudio Stockholm has created an amazing space,’ says JML-System’s Andreas Savela, who project-managed the installation. ‘It was our job to make it sound as good as it looks while remaining in harmony with the design ethic. Genelec made our job relatively straightforward, thanks to the superlative quality of their products, a wide product portfolio including lots of accessories and mounting options, and excellent responsiveness to our client’s needs.’

One of the principal areas requiring a sound solution was the large central atrium – a vast space with a soaring glass roof and an architectural asymmetric ‘ribcage’ structure that plays host to a presentation/reception area for up to 100 or more people.

‘We needed to be able to fill this area with big, clear sound, but there was no space for subwoofers and the space behind the wall was extremely limited,’ Savela explains. ‘However, the ribcage structure contains a ceiling as it actually spans at least two floors, so we solved the problem by installing 12 AIC25 in-ceiling speakers in four rows of three speakers each. Thanks to the fantastic bass response of the AIC25s, this was sufficient to provide excellent coverage and detailed sound throughout the area, even against high levels of background noise and reverberation from the surrounding areas.’

Throughout the rest of the building, JML-System used a mixture of the compact, active two-way 4020C installation speaker, which is ideal for applications where space is limited, and its larger, more powerful sibling, the 4030C for areas requiring more punch.

‘We found that the 4020Cs were perfect for Cederquist’s meeting rooms,’ Savela continues. ‘Previously, the company had struggled to obtain clear sound in its conference rooms. However, although the distances are relatively large, such is the superior intelligibility of the Genelec speakers that the compact 4020Cs were more than adequate for vocal reinforcement and presentation purposes, even in big spaces. That said, for the staff gym we opted for the bigger 4030Cs as this is a music-based rather than speech-based environment, and when people are pumping iron or weighing into a punchbag, they tend to want much higher volumes than for corporate meetings.’

Another area in which JML-System opted for 4030Cs was in the lounge/dining area, which is quite a large space, although the atmosphere is intimate. JML-System decided to use the more powerful 4030Cs as fewer of them would be needed to achieve the same amount of coverage, and mounting options were limited.

‘We ended up taking advantage of their architectural shelving system that forms part of the restaurant design and placed four free-standing speakers at strategic locations on the shelves,’ Savela says. ‘In order to blend in perfectly and ensure that there were no unwanted vibrations propagating from the speaker cabinet to the shelves, we mounted each speaker on a Genelec Iso-Pod. This is an ingenious rubberised stand that offers excellent vibration isolation and damping properties, and also enables the speaker to be safely tilted ±15° for the best possible listening axis. It also looks pretty cool.’

Savela says that that he is delighted with the Genelec solution and the support received from the company: ‘We had a number of obstacles to overcome, and Genelec had a solution for everything,’ he confirms. ‘We were able to mix different types and sizes of loudspeaker, but still keep a really uniform feeling throughout the building, both aesthetically and in audio terms. Multiple zones are often playing simultaneously, yet the sound remains remarkably similar throughout the range, despite the differences in type and size of speaker. In particular, we’ve received a number of compliments concerning the sound in the atrium – a proper sound system has helped to transform this elegant space into a “party zone” when required – and, of course, everyone loves that.’

More: www.genelec.com

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