Meridian Audio is playing a significant part in the renovation of London’s historic Admiralty Arch. Prime Investors Capital is transforming this prestigious Grade I listed landmark into a vibrant, new, luxury hotel, with Meridian providing a versatile, high resolution soundscape that’s pitch perfect.

Admiralty Arch is special. Commissioned by King Edward VII in 1910 as a tribute to his mother Queen Victoria and an acknowledgement of his esteem for the British Navy, the impressive structure was designed by Sir Aston Webb, who renovated the façade of Buckingham Palace. Admiralty Arch is an acknowledged national treasure whose previous occupants include Lord Mountbatten, Lord Hailsham and Winston Churchill. Its classical beauty provides a suitably majestic barrier that both defines and contains The Mall, lending a ceremonial grandeur to the main processional route leading up to Buckingham Palace.

Rafael Serrano, the man behind the Bulgari Hotel in London, purchased the 250 year lease from the Government in June 2015 and, with the support of leading British companies, including Meridian, is leading the restoration.

British brilliance

“As Admiralty Arch embarks on a new chapter in its rich history, we sought partnerships with respected British companies, renowned for their dedication to the finest quality, the highest standards of craftsmanship and their unswerving commitment to excellence,” says Andrew Damonte of Prime Investors Capital. “With its stellar reputation, Meridian was clearly the right audio partner for the project. Their beautifully concealed solution for the Mountbatten Suite, our showcase marketing space, demonstrates remarkable attention to detail, imagination and innovation. Put simply, it delivers a breath-taking audio experience to perfectly complement the sublime, heritage setting.”

The Admiralty Arch restoration will eventually create 100 bedrooms, a state-of-the-art spa, a private members’ club and several restaurants with some of the most awe-inspiring views in the capital as well as four serviced residences in the north wing. The Mountbatten Suite, a model show apartment, comprising three fully functional bedrooms, bathrooms and a large salon living space, is the first stage in the project.

Regulations and restrictions

The building presents unique aspects, and, within the model suite, the salon consists of three straight walls and a grand, curving wall which faces out onto The Mall. English Heritage restrictions specified the preservation of key interior features including the fine tall ceilings, intricate crests and original fireplaces and fittings, further limiting speaker placement. Looking inwards towards the fireplace, occupants in the salon needed to be able to relax and enjoy listening to music or watching TV as in a traditional sitting room. For larger gatherings and social events, the audio system needed to be sufficiently flexible to scale up from background music to party mode. The client also pointed out to Meridian that businessmen would want the system to cope with the demands of conference audio when they used the salon as a home office. Meridian’s system ticks all these boxes with a precisely designed, engineered and tuned solution.

Meridian has supplied, and then calibrated, a hidden solution that delivers resilient audio performance, irrespective of different occasions, room uses and listener locations. Powerful Meridian DSP640 in-wall speakers are mounted behind wall-hung fabric, flanking a large Samsung screen on either side of the original fireplace which is revealed on-demand. The DSP640s produce an lifelike sound with great clarity at all output levels, even from behind the far from acoustically transparent fabric.

These are complemented by three invisible Stealth in-wall speakers, located on the long right wall and much shorter left wall, driven by a Meridian 258 Power Amplifier, alongside front and rear in-wall Stealth sub-woofers. A Meridian HD621 HDMI Audio Processor and G65 Surround Controller are also part of the solution. The HD621 takes the HDMI signal from up to six sources, separating it into its audio and video elements and maximising the audio clarity and resolution in the salon. The G65 integrates Meridian Room Correction, High Resolution Upsampling and other revolutionary technologies that Meridian is famous for, to ensure superb performance for movies and music alike.

Completed in November 2017, The Mountbatten Suite is allowing Prime Investors Capital to showcase its vision for Admiralty Arch and provide a benchmark for the high quality of execution and luxury that will be implemented throughout the building. Meridian’s audio solution is intrinsic to this approach and the brand has attained Preferred Partner Status on the development.

Kit List:

  • 2 x DSP640 in-wall loudspeakers
  • G65S Surround Controller
  • HD621 HDMI Audio Processor
  • 258 Power Amplifier
  • 3 x Stealth LRG30 invisible in-wall speakers
  • 2 x Stealth B30G in-wall subwoofers
  • Stealth SA2400 subwoofer amplifier
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