The Maine

ProjectThe MaineLocationLondon, UKManufacturersK-array, ItalyDistributor2B Heard, UKInstallerKNEKTD, UKSubmitted byMartin Reid

Occupying three floors of the magnificent Grade II listed Georgian townhouse in Mayfair’s Hanover Square, and blending old world British elegance with New England extravagance, The Maine is a classic brasserie with a typically modern twist. The brief was to equip the elegant three-story Georgian building in London’s Hanover Square with flexible and visually minimalist sound systems with the principal objective of creating ambiences ranging from relaxed dining to full-on private nightclub.

Richmond-based technology specialist KNEKTD, known for its super-prime commercial and residential installations, worked directly with Canadian-born restaurateur Joey Ghazal to create an intimate soundscape for the sumptuous chandelier-strewn main dining space that evoked his vision of an intimate live stage set amongst the surrounding tables.

Audio systems were deployed throughout the three floors of the building, providing widely varying sound levels from background music to high sound pressure levels in several different architectural settings. Critically, the K-array speaker systems had to blend in aesthetically and suit the environments, making sure that the speakers disappear and feel a part of the rooms so they become unnoticed.

Audio for all the rooms is powered from K-array and Innosonix amplifiers housed in a central rack room location in the kitchen area, and can be easily controlled and managed by staff via remote touch screens anywhere in the building.

The COVID pandemic presented major roadblocks in terms of timing, with installation originally scheduled to start early in 2021 but eventually only getting under way in April.

The building’s Grade II listed status meant that fixing any hardware directly to the structure of the building was not possible. Finding sufficient space and suitable locations to site loudspeakers and running cables was also difficult given that there had to be a minimal visual impact on the surroundings, so custom speaker brackets were designed for the K-array speakers and fabricated in order to provide the correct aiming angles specified by the acoustic simulations and yet remain visually discreet.

The live performance stage in the Brasserie required highly dynamic, extended bandwidth response in order to create the cabaret atmosphere that the client wanted. And the subs had to be hidden. An original flown sub array induced too much vibration in the ceiling grid, and so a reduced ceiling array of Rumble-KU210 subs was combined with an additional ground supported solution. An array of double 18” Rumble-KMT218P subs was sited facing inwards under the stage in custom fabricated joinery housings produced just the right smooth and even low frequency coverage without any peaks or troughs, and a further complication dictated that space had to be provided around the subs in order to meet building fire regulations.

2B Heard developed a Crestron module specifically for the Innosonix amplifier as one did not currently exist – the first one ever made for that amplifier.

The Maine is a fine example of KNEKTD’s expertise in integrating a professional sound system capable of audio levels from subtle background sound to high SPL nightclub sound through to dynamic live performance into an elegant, up-market restaurant setting, perfectly fitting into the three distinctly different spaces in the building, enhancing but not intruding upon the fine dining experience at which the Maine excels.

A key task for KNEKTD was to ensure that in some areas of the building the technology was essentially hidden so as not to detract from the elegant décor, and so hand-crafted custom joinery had to made in their workshop to house loudspeakers and make them invisible.

KNEKTD’s interpretation of the client’s vision extended throughout design, equipment selection, installation and commissioning and remained true to allowing no compromise in the often opposing requirements of audio quality and luxury aesthetics, considering the very high demands and expectations placed on them by both client and clientele.