Kupittaan Ball Sports Hall
"The Kupittaa Ball Sports Hall in Turku is an excellent example of modern, versatile and high-quality sports venue construction," the Ministry of Education and Culture said in its citation. It has been chosen as the Sport Venue of the Year earlier.
The total number of squares is 9500 and the capacity of the grandstand is almost 2770 people. The hall's main sports are futsal, basketball, handball, volleyball, volleyball, badminton and gymnastics, but it also hosts a variety of exhibition events. There are three full-size (22 x 42 m) training pitches, separated by a soundproof curtain.
The technical equipment and solutions of the modern hall have also attracted attention. Audico Systems designed the sound evacuation and sound reinforcement system in collaboration with a familiar partner, Are Oy, who also acted as the electrical contractor for the project. "The ball hall is a rare contracting project in Turku and it was important to have an experienced partner on the project," says Pekka Suotunen from Are Oy.
The system was built to cover all areas, including the hall corridors and changing rooms. The hall's sound system follows the same concept as its three-part structure: the space can be divided into three parts, which can be divided into separate 1/3 blocks or even 1/3 & 2/3 - and the sound system can be controlled accordingly.
The hall's wide range of uses and concepts posed its own challenges for the technology. At the heart of the implementation was the new generation Audico Avec G2 digital audio preamplification and reproduction system, with the addition of digital DSP audio technology (Biamp Tesiraforte AI), offering a wealth of variation and fine-tuning possibilities. The wirelessly controlled equipment is also easy to control according to the situation and react to events from the edge of the field.
"The tablet app, wireless mics and RCA cabled audio outlets in various areas of the field level bring the sound system within reach of all users in the hall. The sound can be controlled conveniently, either individually for each block or even for all three court blocks," sums up Juha Lehmusvuori, sports venue manager. The sound system is used by staff, customers and event organisers alike, so Lehmusvuori says the convenient connectivity feature is particularly useful: "Customers have been able to run their own material into the system via a laptop or mobile phone from the field level."
One of the most interesting challenges in large halls is acoustics. On the one hand, the hall eats up sound; on the other, the reverberation is distracting at worst. The system installed in the Kupittaa ball hall provides good sound quality and the acoustic properties were carefully tested before commissioning. Uniform sound reproduction in different parts of the hall was simulated and measured with the help of a computer to ensure that, for example, music and speech with different sound reproduction requirements were balanced.
RCF-P Series loudspeakers and a total of three 18-inch RCF SUB 8004 active subwoofers were used to create a buzzing and booming sound in the ceiling. The same speakers are connected not only to the sound system, but also to the exit alarm and security sound system.
As it was difficult to build an induction loop into the space, accessibility was solved by a wireless system with a small personal device and transmitter.
"When a system that connects so many devices is deployed, a few bugs often occur shortly after deployment. They were quickly sorted out. The Audicon representatives were also able to open up and explain the standards involved in the system in a way that kept us on the same page," says Pekka Suotunen.
Photo by Mika Okko
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