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Electro-Voice in London's Latest Gourmet Temple

The TV show Hell's Kitchen has elevated Gordon Ramsay to the status of culinary superstar way beyond the shores of Great Britain. With exclusive restaurants already in a number of international metropolises - including New York and Tokyo - Ramsay's latest venture is Bread Street Kitchen in London's East End.

Drawing inspiration from its industrial surroundings, the 250-seat gourmet temple is aesthetically reminiscent of a warehouse.

Since Gordon Ramsay conceives of a meal as a feast for all the senses, he attaches enormous importance to the sound distribution systems installed in his restaurants. Responsibility for the system design and installation in the Bread Street Kitchen was entrusted to CGA Integration; specialists in sound, light and video integration.

"Russell Sage's restaurant design posed a real challenge," said CGA's Chris Gunton. "Very high ceilings and a monopoly of hard surfaces are treacherous – especially when the restaurant is full. The sound system we installed needed to focus on eliminating the reverberation characteristic of large open venues such as warehouses."

Nor was that the only hurdle to be cleared: since the venue is open from the early morning until late at night seven days a week, the noise-emission bylaws and the problem of sustainability also needed to be taken into account.

The first step towards solving these problems was to carve up the location into a number of acoustic zones. Computer simulations revealed that seven was the optimum amount, including the restaurant, wine bar and reception area. After a number of tests and acoustic measurements, it was decided to make ZX3 loudspeakers from Electro-Voice the centrepiece of the sound distribution system.

In all, the team from CGA Integration installed 20 ZX3 two-way loudspeakers in the generously dimensioned venue. These were powered by three CPS8.5 Class D loudspeakers equipped with RCM-810 remote-control modules.

The system control and sound processing is provided by a NetMax N8000 digital matrix controller that can be operated via PWS-4 wall panels - a user-friendly solution, as these make it possible to regulate the volume and tone in each area individually.

"In our view, absolute control of the sound level in the individual areas was imperative at all times," explained Gunton. "Furthermore, thanks to NetMax and the IRIS-Net software, we can also access the installation from our company headquarters, which means the customer can count on our support and supervision without any of our team actually having to be present on site. This guarantees optimised preventative maintenance and at the same time saves time and money. It therefore represents an enormous advantage for our customers."

The restaurant's proprietors are certainly enthused by the outcome. "When we at Gordon Ramsay Restaurants put so much effort into every ingredient, presentation, service and venue, we want to feel that the audio design and installation has had the same attention to detail," said Angela Downes, Operations Manager with Gordon Ramsay Holdings. "This is exactly what CGA Integration gave us in the system we rely on to underpin our concept."





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