The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik, Iceland is a mammoth feat of architecture and acoustic design, housing a world-class music venue and meeting-presentation facilities inside a striking, asymmetrical glass facade. Keeping people informed and safe is important in any building but particularly for one the size of the Harpa, so an Ateis public address-voice alarm system is playing a crucial background role in the installation.
Work began on the Harpa in January 2007 but the project's future looked uncertain when Iceland's financial crisis began to bite.
The Icelandic government stepped in to fund the building work, which was completed in time for the opening concerts on 4th and 5th May by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, which, with Icelandic Opera, is resident at the venue.
The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre occupy a total of 28,000 square meters of space. Henning Larsen Architects designed the main building, with its glass exterior created by the Danish-Icelandic artist and sculptor Ólafur Elíasson. Artec Consultants Inc of New York worked on the acoustics for the main auditorium.
An extensive and fully feature PA-VA system is a necessity in a modern building of this size and demands a correspondingly big installation. The Harpa Concert Hall is divided into 27-zones, with Ateis equipment installed into the public and staff areas by ADS, which was commissioned by main security contractors Ark Security to design, configure and build the system.
Audio Design Services selected seven LAPG2 DSP audio network processors, supported by 12 IDA4 VA units in six 43U racks and 16 SPA 2480 100v amplifiers. The IDA4s each have five inputs and four zone outputs and can be built up into full voice alarm system. The individual units feature digital message storage and 99 programmable priority levels. The LAPG2 features pre-amplifiers, compressor-limiters and equalization. It can be used for both background music and pre-recorded announcements, with an integral message player-storage system capability of holding 30 minutes of material.
John Houldcroft, Audio Design Services’ project manager on the Harpa installation who combines 30 years experience in the design and planning of Voice Alarm systems, comments: “The main reason for specifying Ateis equipment was its versatility, easy wiring and configurability. The interface of the LAPG2 makes programming very simple and allows the client to make changes and design alterations through the installation process; I wouldn't use anything else."
Neil Voce, Managing Director of Ateis UK, adds, "Ateis is very proud of the work done using our systems and is pleased to play a part in the first purpose-built concert hall in Reykjavik."