When St. Rose of Lima was founded in 1921, the Arroyo Simi in Southern California was a rural valley, sparsely populated with hardy farming families. Today, it’s bustling campus in Simi Valley is home to a 600-seat sanctuary, as well as elementary and middle schools, a meeting hall, offices and other community facilities.
The sanctuary recently underwent a major renovation, and the result is a spacious, ornate but tasteful and unassuming space, with high peaked ceilings, stained glass windows, and hardwood pews. But the new sanctuary’s angular architecture and an abundance of smooth, reflective surfaces has created new challenges.
“The new space looks great, but it’s a far more reflective and reverberant environment now,” says Ken Buckowski of Burbank, CA-based Studio Spectrum. “The old sound system would have been problematic, both functionally and aesthetically.”
Studio Spectrum recommended a pair of Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steered line arrays to replace the existing system. A single IC32-R-II column is mounted on either side of the proscenium, with multiple sound beams steering sound away from walls and windows, and toward the congregants in the pews.
“They were very concerned with the aesthetics of the space, and didn’t want to see a room full of speakers anymore,” says Buckowski. “The Iconyx has such a slim, low profile design, they pretty much blend in with the architecture. Most of the people didn’t even notice them.”
The renovation also included opening additional seating to the left and right of the existing pews. “The side wings have much lower ceilings, and our original thought was to put additional speakers in there to fill that zone,” Buckowski explains. “But the Iconyx enabled us to steer sound directly into that space, so we didn’t need anything else.”
He concludes, “Iconyx was the perfect solution for this space. Coverage and intelligibility are consistent to every seat in the house, and it blends perfectly with the sanctuary’s architecture. We went from having a room full of speakers to just two. They love the way it looks and the way it sounds.”