Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland and the International Conference and Entertainment Centre (ICE) Krakow is the business and cultural flagship of this beautiful city. The stunning view from the ICE provides its visitors a glance at some of Krakow’s most famous landmarks. The ICE hosts conferences, exhibitions, parties, seminars and concerts big and small, with audiences ranging from a few dozen to several thousand. The changing space arrangements and the wide range of different events pose challenges to assuring audiences are safe and secure at all times while enjoying best sound and acoustics.
Its larger venues present a special challenge to designers of evacuation systems. On the one hand, the sound coming from the evacuation speakers must be loud and intelligible to inform every guest clearly as to what he/she should do. On the other hand, the speakers should be unobtrusive, blending into the background rather than influencing the feel of the performance or audience space.
In Krakow, designers found the right mix – thanks to hemispheric loudspeakers from Bosch, which are part of a Bosch Praesideo Public Address and Voice Evacuation system. As a technician puts it: “If we had deployed standard loudspeakers for the evacuation system, we would have needed quite a few to establish an even sound coverage for the entire building. By using the hemispheric ones placed underneath the roof, five loudspeakers were enough to do the job, blending in discreetly with the room aesthetics.” The evacuation system was just one part of a comprehensive security and communications package at ICE built by Bosch. Almost the complete range of Bosch’s security and communication system portfolio is installed: not just evacuation, but also fire detection, video surveillance, public address, intrusion alarms, access control as well as conferencing systems.
The video surveillance in the facility is based on Bosch Video Management System as well as different types of cameras. Some of the cameras are the FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 cameras offering 12-megapixel sensor resolution and high frame rates combined with a fish-eye lens. These cameras provide a complete 180-degree or 360-degree overview without blind spots and enable easy capture of moving objects. Significantly improving the quality of the video surveillance solution.
Decentralized Modular Fire Panel Series 5000 equipped with point-type and linear smoke and heat detectors are responsible for fire detection. Flat Fire Detectors Series 500 offering flush ceiling mounting were installed in representative rooms. All in all, Bosch provided the facility with 2,000 fire detectors.
All of them were in top form for an extraordinary event that convened for ten full days in July: the United Nations’ annual Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. This is the group that nominates places to be protected as areas of great cultural or natural significance, such as Stonehenge, Glacier Bay or the Great Barrier Reef.
Attending the UNESCO meeting were 1,966 delegates, another 1,000 service-providers and journalists and some 700 police and security agents. Nearly 50 ‘side events’ accompanied the 35 main meetings held at the ICE, over 20,000 publications were used, and the audio-visual systems were – understandably – in heavy use.
At the heart of the multi-lingual communication, managing simultaneous interpretations, was an advanced conferencing solution from Bosch, with the Integrus language distribution system and the DCN conferencing solution (receivers for up to 1,500 participants). As one of the technicians noted, these provide great flexibility, covering multiple rooms and allowing easy switches from one room to the other.
Also, critical to smooth operation of the event was access control. In today’s tense political climate, security must be tight not only within the venue, but outside in the access and parking areas. Bosch’s systems helped support and coordinate this, without ICE needing to lay on more guards and security agents.