Tommex Zebrowscy Sp. J. has recently completed the design and delivery of a Community loudspeaker-based pro audio and voice evacuation system for the prestigious Hala Stulecia (Centennial Hall) in Wrocław, Poland. Constructed in 1913, Centennial Hall is undergoing a comprehensive program of renovation and new development that transforms it into a state-of-the-art venue for its centenary. The installation of the sound system, handled by Asseco, is one of the final parts of this ambitious development programme.
Centennial Hall was built to commemorate the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, which ended Napoleon’s occupation of the region. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006, chosen as one of the most important achievements in 20th century architecture. At the time it was built, Centennial Hall was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world and featured the biggest dome to have been constructed since the Pantheon in Rome eighteen centuries earlier. The Centennial Hall complex serves the citizens of Wrocław and Lower Silesia as a venue for trade fairs, conventions, theatrical and opera performances, concerts, international sporting competitions, political and business meetings as well as recreational and spiritual events.
“The system’s prime function is to provide for voice evacuation, meeting strict Polish Fire Department standards,” explained Marcin Zimny, Manager of Tommex’s office in Wrocław. “But it also has to deliver a dual function as a pro audio system for voice paging and entertainment for the main hall, where the audience capacity has been increased from 7,000 to 10,000.”
“Centennial Hall is an acoustically challenging building,” continued Zimny. “Its UNESCO status also meant we were restricted in the placement of loudspeakers. Unable to use, for example, a central cluster under the main dome, we had to position the loudspeakers around the lowest ring of the dome. This required loudspeakers with precise coverage patterns, excellent voice reproduction and very high SPL.”
Tommex designed a system based on fifty-two high-output, dual 12-inch Community R-Series R2 loudspeakers and eight wide-angle, dual 8-inch Community WET W2-2W8 loudspeakers. “From long experience we knew Community offered the solution to the complex set of demands for this venue,” said Zimny. “A combination of 50×20, 70×70 and 90×40 degree devices were used to give us complete, consistent coverage. Additionally we knew that the Community loudspeakers would meet the intelligibility and SPL requirements and would pass the Fire Department tests, which included being subject to 250 degrees for half an hour.”
Tommex chose Switzerland’s g+m elektronik to provide the voice evacuation and amplification systems and a Dynacord P64 system for the digital audio matrix. With a digital console, transport of the audio is via fibre optic cable from FOH to the amp room.
“This was a very demanding installation and we are very proud that the result is a system that meets every requirement,” concluded Zimny. “The client is very happy with the system’s audio and operational performance, and also that the loudspeakers and their installation have been very sympathetic to the aesthetic needs of this beautiful historic building.”