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Huge K-array install for £190m Temple of Solomon replica megachurch

Gobos do Brasil was tasked with an installing audio system that could be heard but not seen

A massive K-array loudspeaker installation is supplying the audio needs of the new Temple of Solomon, an exact replica in São Paulo, Brazil, of the ancient Jerusalem temple of the same name, and one of the world’s largest religious buildings, which officially opened on 31 July.

The concept behind the £190m megachurch is that visitors will “travel through time and feel as if they were in the original [10th-century BC] temple built by Solomon”, meaning installer Gobos do Brasil was tasked providing with an audio system that could be heard but not seen.

Placed in acoustic niches above the ceiling of the central hall, 42 K-array KH4s and six KO70s were installed 18m high and hidden by perforated plates specially designed to not interfere with sound propagation throughout the wood, gold and stone (the latter from Israel, no less) structure.

20 KP102 Python speakers are used as monitors at the sides of the altar, with KMT18 for the subs – both invisible – and a KV50 in the pulpit. The esplanade, an external area which gives access to the ‘Sanctuary’, has a sound system with KP102 in-wall speakers, personalised to match the colour of the Israeli stones, while the conference rooms received custom-painted KRM33P (Cheesebox) speakers positioned on the ceiling, providing controlled horizontal dispersion and extended frequency response to broadcast the sermons around the building.

And lastly, for front of house monitoring, the control room has been been equipped with two KK52s and two KU36s, all powered by 12 KA40s.

“Universal brought us a big challenge: to install a sound system in this huge area, using invisible, light and ecologically correct sound equipment,” explains Gobos do Brasil’s Esteban Rissos. “Large indoor places require a lot of caution and study, because they usually have big reverberation and acoustic reflections, making it difficult to understand the voice.

“We presented the architect and directors of the build a detailed study where our solution showed a high level of intelligibility and clarity, besides counting on a great SPL left.”

Situated in an area of approximately 35,000m2, the 55m-tall, 126m-long complex, built by the neopentacostal Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, is divided into two large blocks interconnected by the Sanctuary, which can hold 10,000 seated people. The install is K-array’s biggest of 2014.