Elisabeth Center

Antwerp, Belgium

Property owner

City of Antwerp and the Flemish Authorities

Main contractor

Heijmans-Willemen

Architect

Ian Simpson Architects (UK) and research and consultancy agency 'Bureau bouwtechniek'

Acoustic consultant

Kirkegaard Associates (US)

Structural engineer

Details

technical room

Building type

Arts & Media

Intervention level

Equipment

The new Elisabeth Centre in Antwerp aims at being one of the top concert venues in the world when it comes to optimal sound engineering. CDM helped achieving a smashing core of 9.3 out of 10 by installation of CDM-MACHINE-MONT floating floor in the main technical area located on top of the concert hall.

The former ‘Koningin Elizabethzaal’ did not live up to the acoustic expectations with a disappointing score of 6 out of 10. The clients for this project, the City of Antwerp and the Flemish Authorities, are looking forward to attracting international conferences to this new and multifunctional events hall. Thanks to its construction it can transform from a classical concert hall to a seminar room or theatre venue in practically no time, allowing it to house a maximum number of events yearly. The Elisabeth Centre will span a total of 25,000 m² and accommodate about 2,500 guests. The official opening is planned for end 2016.

To achieve nearly flawless acoustics in a large area, it is essential to drown out any noise. Situated just above the Centre’s large hall, the main technical area contains the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning installation on a floating concrete floor that covers that entire area. The floor itself is based on the CDM-MONT floor system that consists of reinforced steel boxes cast into concrete. Each steel box contains rubber pads that are optimized in type and size to support the load they have to carry. In this case, that load is the sum of the floating floor itself plus the technical equipment. The rubber pads allow for fine-tuning: for each 1.8 m, in each direction, a rubber pad is used in order to limit the rubber contact points. The floor is divided into 8 parts that can be jacked up and adjusted independently. The rubber pads resonate at 8 to 10 Hz, creating a low frequency filter for all structural and contact noises.

The same CDM-MONT floor system was installed in the large rehearsal room, as a complete box-in-box construction: the room’s (light-weight) walls are positioned at the edge of the floating floor and are disconnected at the back through elastomer bearings. The rubber pads in the boxes below the walls are different from the ones that are installed in the centre of the area. The lowered ceiling in this room is also acoustically decoupled. Thanks to the CDM-MONT system, the rubber pads can later be replaced by steel springs, for example if the weight to be carried changes drastically in the future or if there’s a need for an even lower frequency filter. CDM also provided a similar floating floor system (CDM-FLOAT) at the Centre’s (un)loading area and installed a CDM-DPM floor system in the other rehearsal rooms.

 

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