The Old Town in the northern Polish city of Toruń escaped the ravages of war in the last century and remains a Medieval jewel of architecture worthy of a place among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Yet the design of the Jordanki Cultural & Congress Centre (CKK) that sits in the very centre of the Old Town is the very antipathy of Medieval magnificence. Boldly modernist, angular and with a singular beauty of its own, the CKK is the work of Spanish architect Fernando Menis and provides a multipurpose cultural hub for the city and its surrounds. By its completion in 2015 the centre boasted two concert halls, a cinema, conference rooms, rehearsal spaces, a restaurant, press room and underground parking.
Konsbud Audio of Warsaw was the distributor and executor of all the electroacoustics systems that were installed in the CKK. Along with the installation of FoH control, digital audio network, audio playback, multichannel audio recording systems, comms systems, AV systems and the seventy five kilometres of cabling required to service this infrastructure, Konsbud Audio also installed sound reinforcement systems in both the Concert Hall and the Chamber Hall using d&b audiotechnik loudspeakers.
Piotr Jankiewicz, Director of the design and integration department at Konsbud Audio was the project director. “This project has without doubt been a huge challenge for us; this is the largest installation contract Konsbud Audio has undertaken to date. The amount of cabling that has been used is testament to that! Part of the challenge was due to the highly original design of the building; the shape and purpose of the building required a very sympathetic approach to the installation. The performance spaces are designed without parallel walls and certainly during the design stage, it was often difficult to visualise the final appearance of the rooms or the shape of the walls. In a venue such as this it was crucial to have a very versatile system hence our choice of d&b loudspeakers that are known for their ability to deliver both in terms of frequency response and sound pressure level”.
In the Concert Hall, Konsbud Audio chose a V-Series system rigged as a L/R line array and comprising a combination of V8 and V12 cabinets. V-SUB and J-INFRA were used to provide low frequency support and T10s were utilised as front fill and coverage at a side balcony. The constant directivity control over a very wide frequency range, for which the V-Series is renowned, was especially useful in this asymmetrical room. The Concert Hall plays host to a myriad of different performance genres and touring artists, so faith and trust in the brand played an important part in opting for the d&b label – as did the flexibility of the system in both of the centre’s major venues.
It was the T-Series that was chosen for The Chamber Hall. Jankiewicz again: “Because these loudspeakers can be used both as a line array and as a high directivity point source loudspeaker they were the ideal choice in this room. Due to their extraordinary specifications and flexibility in application these devices can be used not only as front of house sound reinforcement loudspeakers, but also in any other occasions where there is a need to provide sound reinforcement in other parts of the stage or even in other rooms. We had no doubts considering them the perfect choice”.
All the loudspeakers are driven by D80 amplifiers, including the MAX and M6 stage monitors, as Jankiewicz explains, “The advantages are obvious. It’s hard to imagine why anyone should use other amplifiers and turn away from all the functionalities and quality guaranteed by d&b audiotechnik. The systems installed in the CKK are designed to be portable. Using a single type of amplifier for all of the loudspeakers eliminates compatibility issues and makes it extremely easy and quick to adapt a system’s configuration to the needs of a specific event”.
Jankiewicz concludes, “I’m proud of the state of the art technical solutions we have implemented here; the audio system is very flexible and sounds just amazing – I am very, very pleased”. His words are endorsed by front of house sound engineer Bartosz Kurkowski who hails from Toruń. “I’ve waited a long, long time for a venue like this in my hometown. It is nothing less than a dream come true”.