Moss Technical

Gallery Space

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects,opened to the public on 28 September 2013 and gives new life to The Magazine, a former 1805 gunpowder store located seven minutes’ walk from the Serpentine Gallery on the north side of the Serpentine Bridge. With 900 square metres of new gallery, shop, restaurant and social space, the Serpentine’s second space in Kensington Gardens is a new cultural destination in the heart of London.

Instrumental to the transformation into a public art gallery was the decision to reinstate the historic arrangement of The Magazine building as a free standing pavilion within an enclosure, whereby the former courtyards would be covered and become internal exhibition spaces. In order to reveal the original central spaces, all non-historic partition walls within the former gunpowder stores were removed. Audio and lighting systems were discretely integrated so as to not interfere with the ‘as found’ quality of the spaces.

Integral to the daily operations of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery was the inclusion of a high quality audio and loudspeaker system. Zaha Hadid Architects’ vision of interior minimalism, coupled with the need for the original architectural features of the gunpowder stores to retain precedence, meant that the choice of loudspeaker for the 3.6m high internal gallery spaces surrounding the former gunpowder stores was vital.

Arup’s Specialist Technical Engineers recognised that ideally a completely invisible loudspeaker was required. The audio system specification was for public address, audio content for art exhibitions, voice re-enforcement for presentations and background/foreground music during events. Arup, therefore, began discussions with Amina Technologies in order to specify the perfect invisible speaker system for such for this ambitious restoration project and the new social space.

From the outset it was essential that the speaker system provided full range sound, i.e. bass response below 100Hz. This is the natural limit of the majority of Amina’s invisible range (hence the firm also manufactures highly discrete subwoofers), however the company had not long begun shipping their newest invisible model the AIW750E. The AIW750E is the flagship Amina invisible loudspeaker and as such produces the widest bandwidth and highest power handling of the Evolution Series range. By using two separate vibrational panels per speaker fed via an external crossover-cum-protection circuit, the AIW750E operates from 50Hz – 20KHz along with the Amina trademark ultra-wide dispersion and ability to integrate sympathetically with an interior’s acoustically reflective surfaces. This was music to Arup’s ears who quickly selected it as the ideal speaker solution for the gallery spaces.