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Gemma Robinson

At The Wolseley City Luxury Restaurant, L-Acoustics Audio Creates Outstanding Audio Experience

Knektd masterfully integrates audio in city hot spot famed for its breakfasts and all-day dining


LONDON, United Kingdom – April 2024 – The Wolseley Hospitality Group has created nine welcoming and successful restaurant properties throughout the British capital. Creating an institution like atmosphere where people - both staff and visitors – feel welcome, “the Group knows the value of including audio at the concept design stage” to create the perfect atmosphere, explains Shaun Wilson, Director at Knektd, the integration company that accompanied the Group in the opening of its latest property, The Wolseley City.

Professional audio for an enhanced evening atmosphere

At the gateway to London’s financial district, The Wolseley City opened on the twentieth anniversary of its iconic sibling, The Wolseley Piccadilly. With a grand, double storey stone-clad restaurant and mezzanine dining, two private dining rooms, and three bar and salon spaces, The Wolseley City serves hearty breakfasts and an all-day dining menu in a century-old building with interiors designed by Fabled Studio. With its common thread across both restaurants, The Wolseley City highlights Byzantine chandeliers, Baroque ironwork and intricate 1920s Egyptian Revival touches. A reimagination of a well-recognised vista with central horseshoe banquette, the groyne vault ceilings, starburst stone flooring and grand, double storey pillars offers a perfect composition and balance to a reinterpretation of the vaulted ceilings and grand, ten-metre-high pillars associated with its Piccadilly sister. Building on a reputation as one of London’s most prestigious daytime dining spots, The Wolseley City features live jazz and an enhanced evening ambiance, for which professional audio is key.

Accompanying the Group in its audio/visual strategy, Knektd specified an L-Acoustics X Series audio system for The Wolseley City.

To match the prestige of the space and the name of this property, we recommended L-Acoustics, an audio brand that equals The Wolseley brand in quality.” The speakers would need to provide powerful, coherent coverage throughout while melting into the stunning décor. Shaun and his team felt that the best way to accomplish this would be to install speakers high up at the top of the massive marble pillars. “We used L-Acoustics Soundvision 3D modelling software to analyse if we could get even coverage throughout from this high placement,” explains Wilson. “Soundvision showed us that we’d get a perfect result.

Discreet but powerful audio

Twenty-four discreet L-Acoustics X4i are placed around the main dining room, many of them RAL-coloured to blend into the décor. Eight SB10i subs are placed at the bottom of pillars or hidden in walls and banquettes. On the mezzanine and private rooms, eight further X4i are discreetly placed at the ceiling, while six SB6i are built into the walls. The speaker system is powered by seven LA2Xi amplified controllers, occupying just 7U of rack space, allowing for smooth integration into the AV control rack.

Choosing professional audio at the concept design stage

Knektd enjoy a sterling reputation for engineering spectacular lifestyle technology experience in private residences and upscale hospitality. “We are fortunate to have been involved in amazing projects where audio has been considered early on,” explains Wilson. “Design is key to a feeling of comfort, and clear, powerful sound that is heard but not seen is integral to that experience.”

The days when restaurants install commercial-grade ceiling speakers for daytime and then hire professional PA systems for nighttime are past. “A restaurant can stand out from the crowd by creating a welcoming, comfortable, luxurious atmosphere with a professional sound system like L-Acoustics,” says Wilson.

“More brands are seeing the value of making audio choices at the concept design stage. It allows them to create a seamless experience that contributes to the aesthetic, the mood, and the atmosphere,” he continues. “At The Wolseley, this kind of experience is crucial to the fabric of the restaurant.”

A successful partnership

Regarding the partnership with L-Acoustics, Wilson feels that the brand’s "front-end service in terms of design and technical sales support is second to none. The documentation and technical knowledge base are invaluable. L-Acoustics are always a pleasure to work with.”

Working in collaboration with Knektd we have struck the perfect ambiance for the property,” said Liga Piraga at Fabled Studio, The Wolseley City’s interior design team. “The L-Acoustics professional audio system provides just the right amount of powerful coverage while blending seamlessly with the design aesthetic. We couldn’t be happier.

About L-Acoustics

L-Acoustics is renowned for developing innovative sound systems and technologies that elevate the listening experience. Founded in France in 1984, L-Acoustics currently employs 800 team members worldwide, with headquarters in Paris, Los Angeles, London, and Singapore. Recognized for pioneering the line source array, L-Acoustics continues to shape the future of sound with solutions such as the L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology, which offers 3D multi-dimensional audio. L-Acoustics also offers exceptional concert-grade sound systems and immersive sound spaces for residential and architectural environments. In recognition of introducing these groundbreaking creative technologies, L-Acoustics was named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2020 and 2023.

L-Acoustics sound systems can be heard around the globe in venues like the Hollywood Bowl and the Philharmonie de Paris, at the world's top-grossing festivals such as Coachella and Tomorrowland, international special events like the World Expo 2020 and World Cup 2022, and on tour with world-class artists such as Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Arctic Monkeys, and Jacky Cheung, and in the Las Vegas residencies of Katy Perry, Adele, and more.