This beautiful church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, started out life with serious acoustic problems and a very poor sound system, both the result of no acoustic consultant having been involved in the design process. Our involvement began after the second attempt at a sound system had failed. After an extensive acoustic survey and analysis, it became apparent that both acoustic changes and a new sound system were needed. The space was moderately reverberant, and the ceiling geometry was causing some severe focusing at low frequencies. Both previous sound systems had been both poorly positioned so that they interacted badly with the room's acoustics, and were far too small to control sound adequately in what was a rather difficult acoustic space.
Because of the very wide seating area (more than 270 degrees) and the fact that the room is all hard surfaces, sound from the loudspeaker system had to be very carefully controlled. This dictated the use of a very large loudspeaker cluster, and room geometry dictated that it be above and behind the altar. Unfortunately, since the building had long been completed, it could not be concealed within the ceiling. But this architect (Harley Ellington Pierce and Yee, now Harley Ellington Design) accepted a very difficult challenge, and managed to develop a ceiling shape and loudspeaker enclosure that blends very nicely with the existing architecture.