DESIGN | ARCHITECTURE | K-ARRAY | SEPTEMBRER 30, 2021
The RANCH of Max Levai
Acustic solutions signed by K-ARRAY and KSCAPE for the new indoor-outdoor exhibition space in Montauk The Ranch
For The Ranch in Montauk New York’s newest high-profile art-exhibition space, finding the right audio and lighting systems was a top priority.
When art curator Max Levai purchased the 24.7-acre property in 2020, his intention was to convert it into a unique art-exhibition space. The result is a destination worthy of the Hamptons and the area’s reputation as a place for America’s pop-culture icons.
Max’s vision for The Ranch
Max’s vision for The Ranch was to be a top of the class modern art-exhibition space that will draw on today’s technology to enhance the audience’s appreciation of the art on display. To reach that ambition, Levai decided to work with K-array and New York-based integrator Global Audio Systems to design and install sophisticated audio and lighting for The Ranch’s 2,500-square-foot gallery space, which is known as the West Barn. The system design also included a PA system that can be dynamic and deployed for additional sound reinforcement.
Max Levai and his architect Greg Tietjen wanted a lighting system that would represent the incredible natural light of Montauk and a sound system that would enhance the gallery experience, without being visually obtrusive. It was clear the solution had to be dynamic to adapt to the changing demands of exhibitions and events throughout the seasons while enhancing the colours of the artwork combined with a sound solution that created an immersive feeling for visitors.
“The main gallery space with it’s wood cladded walls and ceilings offered us the opportunity to fill the space not only with downlight, but also the option to light the space through the use of indirect uplighting. Adding discreet speakers into the same unobtrusive RAIL system, enabled us to offer a truly immersive experience”
Rusty Waite – President of K-array USA
The solution was a K-array KSCAPE RAIL system, which combines audio and lighting into one visually low-profile package. Each individual RAIL fixture measures 1.2 meters in length and is equipped with LED lighting; most, but not all, of the RAILs installed at The Ranch are also equipped with speakers for sound reinforcement.
In the main gallery of the West Barn, 30 RAIL fixtures are hung pendant-style from the ceiling. Rusty Waite, President of K-array USA said “With the vaulted ceiling having a max height of 18 feet, pendant hanging of the whole RAIL system with minimal aviation cable was very important. We wanted to ensure that the whole structure felt like it was floating in space and not blocking any of the possible wall space. The tracks are very slim and, therefore, very pleasing to the eye, even in pendant style.”
24 of the 30 RAIL are equipped with sound reinforcement; those are arranged in two parallel rows of 12 that run along the long sides of the room to create a full stereo system.
Two K-array Kommander-KA24 amplifiers power the RAIL system’s audio components. They offer digital signal processing (DSP) and four channels of distributed audio each. One amplifier channel can handle 12 of the RAILs in sync with each other.
The approach to the lighting was trifold due to the uplighting configuration available on RAIL. As the barn structure has vaulted ceilings, uplighting offers enough light on its own, as it reflects off the white wooden panels to create a glow above.
For the wall, an asymmetric configuration was chosen to enhance any artwork while 4 spot light tracks were positioned on each side of the lighting structure to light the middle areas in any position with an easy turn of the spot itself. Each 1.2-meter section of RAIL actually has 360 high-quality Nichia LEDs mounted directly on a PCB (printed circuit board) that provide a CRI (color rendering index) greater than 95, which is ideal for art, in particular. And, thanks to the customization of the RAIL, glare control is made easy using the asymmetric linear (lighting option) at the right height.
For the corridors, the audio and lighting had to be hidden carefully in order to provide more space for the art. Each of those corridors are equipped with 12 RAIL fixtures that are flush mounted into the ceiling with a waveguide for the audio to pass through effortlessly. They provide a mix of symmetrical downlight and electric spots, all with DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) control for individual control.
The Ranch offers a fine example of how the right background music (BGM) and lighting composition can not only complement the artwork on display but also help to immerse the audience more deeply in the feeling that the art seeks to create.