In 2011, K-array systems were installed in the original flagship store of an elegant clothing brand Brian & Barry which occupied one floor at the Palace via Durini 28 in Milan just 100 metres from the Duomo. 3 years later Brian & Barry have expanded due to their remarkable success, increasing their space from 1500 m2 to 6000 m2 and occupying 10 floors including a new basement extension to redefine the shopping experience.
The 50’s style and elegant building originally designed by architect Giovanni Muzio has now been renamed the Brian and Barry building which is a testament to the success of the brand. In the planning and building process, particular attention was made to keep the original features of the architecture that work in harmony with the elegant style of clothing products. However, there was an ambitious technological demand especially regarding the audio system where the speakers must be heard but not seen and posed a unique challenge for K-array’s Italian distributor Exhibo.
"We chose K-array because we have been so impressed with the quality and designs over the years, that they have become an excellent tool for the soundtrack of our new building and have become part of the family."
Cristiano De Lillo, General Manager, Brian and Barr
The choice and construction of the sound system was particularly important to the owners and the architect who demanded full flexibility and a sleek design that worked with a variety areas within the building including the clothing department (Brian & Barry), Beauty (Sephora), Jewellery, Catering (Eataly and Rosso Pomodoro) and even the VIP Lounge.
This long list of requirements limited their choice of audio systems to use but K-array loudspeakers once again offered the perfect solution, covering sound across more than 6000 square meters, which represent the total area of the building..
When you walk around the store you can recognise Vyper KV50 installed on the walls with KKS50 expertly hidden within the shelves used for sound reinforcement at low frequencies. In the reserved area near the children's clothing section there are Kobra KK52 reinforced by KMT12 subwoofers offering a flexible solution that switches from the everyday shop to events or presentations when required. The K-array speakers are calibrated with a number of pre-sets dedicated to offer a simple solution for all levels of users after the installation was completed. This must be changed in something like this: Every K-array speaker has a dedicated preset loaded on the amps which offer an easy and secure setting whatever the user’s technical knowledge is, even immediately after the installation has finished.
In accordance with the Brian & Barry tradition, offering elegance and a welcoming atmosphere to its clients, the volume levels have been accurately measured to provide the right listening volume for each part of the store. This means that music must never be annoying, and that there must be respect zones where volume is close to nothing, so that clients can dialogue comfortably with sales assistants. With K-array's line array technology, the sound drop-off is impressive in the area just outside of the speaker's diffusion beam. In this way, its easy to create the respect zones, by simply ensuring that some areas are left uncovered by the K-array system.
Brian & Barry is not the first flagship store to adopt the K-array brand as several other well-known brands have taken on the K-array installation range. K-array speakers were able to fulfil the superstore's brief of near-invisible elegance and sound pressure only when and where the store wanted it – all controlled digitally from a central place.