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First Church of Christ, Scientist
Greenwich, CT

This elegant Christian Science church was built in 1934 in an understated Federal colonial style. Speech intelligibility was always difficult in the reverberant auditorium, due in part to extreme acoustical focusing caused by the deep elliptical ceiling dome—it was possible to clearly hear and understand speech in one seat but nothing in an adjacent seat. We proposed a variety of acoustical modifications to add diffusion (not absorption!), however the church preferred not to alter this original architectural feature. We designed a new speech-reinforcement sound system to provide a high level of intelligibility for every listener, while at the same time not further exaggerating the ceiling dome anomalies. The sound system simultaneously serves two church readers who speak from a raised platform at the front of the auditorium, plus testifiers using hand-held wireless microphones from their pew seats.

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