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Autograph And The Royal Central School Of Speech And Drama

The new North Block at the Royal Central School Of Speech And Drama is the fifth phase of an ongoing development programme which started in 1991 with the construction of the Embassy Extension building. This latest edition to the school’s already comprehensive range of facilities adds 2,200 sqm of floorspace including five double-height, soundproofed studios respectively dedicated to movement, sound, rehearsals and workshops, plus dressing and teaching rooms and the galleried Courtyard Theatre.

Occupying a relatively modest footprint at the northern end of Central’s Swiss Cottage campus, the building is an object lesson in how to maximise usable space with five storeys above ground and two below. Being in a conservation area it also had to meet stringent aesthetic and construction material standards - the finished building (designed by Tim Ronalds Architects and built by GRAHAM) is a striking and imposing local landmark that manages to meet both the developing needs of the school and contemporary environmental standards, while looking entirely in keeping with its surroundings.

Autograph Sales & Installations won a tender process to supply a wide variety of audio equipment for the new facility’s numerous rooms and intended uses, including two DiGiCo S21 digital mixing consoles (with a D-Rack fitted with MADI and Dante options and a range of accessories) in addition to a Yamaha QL1 console. Loudspeakers included products from KV2 (EX6 and EX 1.2 MkII models for the sound stage) and EM Acoustics (EMS81X for the movement studio).

As if to underline not only the extraordinarily complex and diverse wiring and connectivity needs of such a project but also Autograph’s ability to specify, source and supply them, their deliveries also included the infrastructure to house and connect all the disparate components of the respective audio systems throughout the new building. Truly epic amounts of bespoke analogue and digital cabling was supplied to the client’s specification, plus a huge array of custom panels, network switches and interfaces, power distribution units, mounting enclosures and other essentials.

Central’s Head of Technical Support Department, David Ripley, commented, ‘After an exhaustive specification period and tender process, Autograph’s pricing came out on top. We work with Autograph on both our BA Musical Theatre and our MA Music Theatre Public Productions, so their understanding of our unique needs as a producing venue and educational establishment gave us great confidence in appointing them as the Sound equipment provider for the North Block’s studios.’

Find out more about the school and its new facilities HERE

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