Mercedes-Benz Arena is a multi-purpose indoor sports arena initially opened in 2008. It has a capacity of 17000 people and is home to several of Berlin’s premier sports teams. The venue also hosts a wide variety of large concert events. It was designed by HOK Sports and JSK Architects.
The WSDG Design Team was tasked with room acoustics and electroacoustics of the entire complex to support all of its future programming needs.
The room acoustics measures aimed at keeping the reverberation time in the empty hall under 3 seconds as much as possible. Extensive absorber surfaces had to be introduced for this purpose, whose location had to be checked by means of computer simulation:
- Ceiling area through special acoustic mats
- Wall areas though broadband absorbers behind perforated corrugated metal sheet to protect against damage
- Absorber pads on ceiling sails
- Broadband absorber, hung on faces
- Padded plastic seating
This resulted in reverberation times of less than 2.5 s in the empty hall, which, when occupied (maximum 18,000 visitors), creates an acoustic atmosphere, which also supports classical concerts, but ensures in the same time high speech intelligibility when sound reinforcement systems are used.
The sound reinforcement system in the arena as a standard component of sports events follows a decentralized concept mounted to the roof structure / catwalk. Active loudspeakers with integrated power amplifiers are digitally fed from central control units distributed in the roof space. Exact settings of level and delay times create the impression that the sound emanates from the middle of the hall, where the large video cube is installed.