Project Description

Overview

Nuclear power station Goesgen is a modern high-tech facility with the very distinctive goal to on one hand educate their own personnel on a very high level of knowhow, and on the other hand inform the visiting public in an easily accessible way. These two main goals where to be kept in mind while reconstructing the site’s Main Auditorium, a room often used for educational events for the internal staff or for visiting student groups.

Program

The auditorium was to be designed with mainly a range of educational uses in mind — be it a presentation by a lecturer using a digital slide show or be it the showing of an informative DVD. The seat and stage area had to be kept in a fully flexible configuration and is equipped with all-mobile furniture, so a complete resetting of the room from cinema-style seating to U-shaped table configurations to work-group-wise tables to a full 180 degree room rotation is possible.

Acoustics

The use of the room for speech and reproduced music dictated a very controlled room acoustical climate in all frequency bands. The connection of the facility with its neighboring rolling hills and woods and the super high-tech environment was married ideally in a mixed wall structure, consisting of a wall section of foamed metal absorbers for high and mid frequencies and another wall section of frame-mounted wood panels for low-mid frequency control. The omnidirectionally projected low frequencies are controlled by baffle absorbers mounted behind the (for low frequencies) sonically transparent suspended ceiling grid. Interior design and lighting concepts have been developed by Dost Design, Switzerland.

Technology

The auditorium is normally operated by personnel that is not specifically technically trained. The user interface — the only part of the audio system (besides the microphone, of course) that the regular user will ever see — is therefore a Crestron touchscreen panel with highly intuitive, simple to use customized control screens. Audio Routing and Mixing is provided by a BSS Soundweb DSP unit. The main left/right ribbon-based loudspeaker systems have been fully integrated in the front wall / projection screen construction and are barely visible while maintaining a considerable sound pressure level at a very low distortion rate. The positioning of the center channel is above the screen while customized low frequency subwoofers are built directly into the front furniture structure. Installation and maintenance is provided by the local firm Feed-In.