In the late 1990s, a group of Theravada Buddhist faithful in the Boston area came together with the goal of forming a temple and meditation center. The community hunted for nearly a decade to find a suitable facility, locating briefly in Boston, Braintree, Quincy, Waltham, and Watertown. Finally, in April 2006, a 55-acre property was purchased in Raynham, and construction began on Wat Nawamintararachutis. The NMR Buddhist Meditation Center, as it is known locally, has grown to become the largest Thai Buddhist temple outside of Thailand, and a destination for Buddhists across the United States and the world.
The complex features six main buildings, including a multi-purpose hall used for spoken word presentations, musical performances, and other events. As Michael Waitt, Project Manager for Chicopee, MA-based systems installers Valley Communications Systems, explains, the hall presented a number of acoustical challenges. “It’s a large, open room, about 50 feet square, with a 20 foot ceiling, tiered granite floors, and a glass wall across the back,” says Waitt. “Needless to say, it’s a very reflective environment, and the acoustics don’t lend themselves to good spoken word intelligibility.”
The room called for a system that could address the challenges of this very reflective environment, while being as visually unobtrusive as possible within the ornately appointed space.
The system, designed by Brian Masiello of Acentech, features a pair of ICONYX IC24R-II digitally steered arrays mounted to either side of the small stage area, providing uniform coverage across the entire room. “There really isn’t an audience area, per se,” Waitt observes, “so our main objective was to steer the sound into the center of the hall, and direct it away from the walls and windows.”
Waitt reports that temple officials have been exceptionally pleased with the system. “The IC24 columns blend in so well with the décor, they are barely noticeable, and coverage is consistent to every corner of the room.”
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