Renkus-Heinz Helps Living Museum Tell Atturaif’s Ancient History

This Article was written by Renkus Heinz.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | March, 2019 - The ancient mud citadel of Atturaif perched on a high hill overlooking the Wadi Hanifah valley for about 300 years before becoming the capital of the first Saudi dynasty in the 18th century. The capital moved to nearby Riyadh when the Ottomans invaded, and over the years, Atturaif's distinctively Arabian architecture fell into the ruins of the city of Ad Diriyah. In 2010, an ambitious effort was mounted to restore Atturaif, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and turn it into a major tourist attraction showcasing the region's history and culture. The result is the Atturaif Living Museum.

One important feature of the Living Museum is an outdoor amphitheater situated to allow projections onto the old walls. Animations about the site's key role in the country's long story are currently being shown. Delivering clear sound to accompany the projections to an audience situated across the large open space was a difficult challenge, which was handled with highly controlled sound beams from a high-impact Renkus-Heinz loudspeaker system, installed by Robert Cole of Automation Control Energy. "The biggest challenge was the huge area and the distances between the sound system and the public," points out Norbert Bau, Renkus-Heinz Middle East Sales Representative, "but as you would expect at a World Heritage site, there also is a particular need for impressively loud and clear sound."

Naturally, cosmetics are important in a restored historic site, too. "There are architectural restrictions on what we can do here," Bau admits, "and the system needs to be as invisible as possible and not interfere with the projection."

The Living Museum installed left and right arrays of five Renkus-Heinz STLA/9R line array loudspeaker systems per side, which play to the wide margins of the space. The STLA/9R maximizes its output with dual CDT1.5 CoEntrant mid/high drivers and maintains constant directivity down to 200 Hz using Renkus-Heinz's exclusive Isophasic Plane Wave Generator technology. STLA/9R loudspeakers are RHAON-empowered for flexible analog and digital signal distribution, as well as loudspeaker management and control over an Ethernet network.

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