The Basilica of the Assumption is the oldest cathedral in the United States. As such, Cerami approached this project with the central objective of achieving the most effective audiovisual and acoustical design while maintaining the historical and architectural integrity of the cathedral.
The acoustical elements of the project included a full noise control system for the space, including sound attenuating units, linings, and external and internal soundproofing work. In addition, the mechanical systems also needed to be upgraded with the air distribution system and duct sound traps both needing to be redesigned as well. Cerami was also responsible for making recommendations for the cathedral wall panels and sound linings.
For the audiovisual design of the project, we upgraded the sound system within the sanctuary. The primary goal was to minimize the visual impact of sound system elements by selecting appropriate locations and matching the finishes of the loudspeakers to the existing wood, plaster, and stone surfaces. At the same time, the highly reverberant acoustical environment had to be overcome to ensure intelligible vocal reproduction. We addressed this challenge through careful analysis of speaker selection and placement. In addition, the system needed to be re-configurable based on the number and locations of individuals in the listening area. This was accomplished by predicting what spaces will be used most often and “zoning” the loudspeakers appropriately.