The time-honored “Haberhaus“, formerly a storage room for oat, has been converted into a hip cultural event location in the middle of Schaffhausen, Switzerland (north of Zurich, close to the border to Germany). It contains a Bar/Restaurant as well as underground club that accommodates some 150 guests.
Naturally, the acoustics in the vault were less than perfect, with a focused slap-back echo and long reverberation times up to two seconds at 125Hz. The critical need was to integrate acoustical measures with architecture to accommodate any potential type of usage, including amplified rock/pop performances, classical and jazz concerts, also readings.
After a few events in the newly opened space, the club owners realised that the acoustics were not sufficient. WSDG-E entered the project by performing acoustical measurements and determining the weak spots by study of an acoustical computer model. Through analysis, WSDG-E discovered that one of the restrictions of the space was that they couldn’t mount heavy materials to the ceiling, since the structure was not prepared for this.
By choosing the appropriate acoustical materials and placing them carefully within the room, the result is oustanding – the club now offers a breathtaking and cozy location for all kinds of acoustical events, amplified or otherwise.
A tuned low-mid frequency absorber was installed on both ends of the room (perforated gypsum board) to reduce the boominess. Additionally, to get rid of the slap back echo on stage, fabric covered absorbing panels were installed directly above the stage area. This dramatically reduces the reflections from the vault without absorbing the reflections from the stage towards the audience—helping non-amplified music and speech intelligibility. The ceiling below the rear balcony was treated using wood fibre plates mounted with airspace.
Quote by Bruno Niederhauser, responsible for cultural events of project Haberhaus:
“The installation of the treatment was tricky due to the fact that we could not apply a lot of load to the ceiling. The panels are mounted on two wires, clamped between hooks in the ceiling. In the end, we installed it ourselves, with the help of a carpenter. We are all very pleased and happy with the result. The acoustic optimizations are clearly audible, from the musicians we got enthusiastic comments. With the treatments as specified by WSDG the room has become acoustically and visually appealing and compact. Thank you very much!”