27.06.17

Multifunctional marvel: Inside Switzerland’s €37 million Samsung Hall

ICF performers singing on stage at opening of Samsung Hall in Zurich, Switzerland

Providing the centre stage for both worship and music concerts, Zurich’s newest events venue can stake a claim to being the most innovative multifunctional hall in Switzerland. Charlotte Ashley explores the €37 million building.

Located  in  the  municipality  of Dubendorf on the borders of Zurich, Switzerland,  the  imposing  black structure  of  the  5,060-capacity Samsung  Hall  is  home  to comprehensive  AV  infrastructure  that  supports everything from free worship to congress. Its long-term tenant, the International Christian Fellowship, use the building as a hub to congregate its 3,000 weekly visitors, and produce and distribute content, when the hall is not hosting the world’s leading music, theatre and comedy acts.

“We had a dream of having a permanent location for our services so we got involved in the process of planning a new event building in Zurich,” recalls Marco Rychlik, live video technician at ICF Zurich.  Rychlik worked  closely  with  specialist church  integrator  and  partner of  over  10  years,  Event-AG,  who designed and installed the system.

Built  on  an  optical  fibre backbone,  the  system  spans  a modular  main  hall,  a  490m 2  loft  space  and  underground ‘club’  (used  by  the  church’s youth division) complete with a stage, audio system and mixing console.  Simon  Bachofen, media  designer  at  Event-AG, notes  that  ICF’s  being  present from  the  start  of  the  planning  process  meant crucial  decisions  on  technology  could  be  made; “As the main tenant they could really define what they wanted.” He continues: “Working with fibre connections  made  the  most  sense,  but  if  it  had been other companies maybe it would have been something  else,  or  not  even  12G,  and it would have had to be added later.”

A divisible 120m 2  4K LED wall from Samsung running from a Barco E2 Event Master processor serves  as  the  centrepiece  to  its  largest  hall,  positioned  above  a  hydraulic  18x10m  stage  with  a  telescopic  extension,  accompanied  by L’Acoustics speakers and a ceiling light system. Touring  acts  come  and  plug  in  their own equipment, but production facilities are owned by  the  church,  meaning  cost  was  a  factor.  “It had to be affordable, and very flexible, with one main Crosspoint 288 the system is very easy to understand and I’m able to route a signal with one click,” says Rychlik.

“It had to be affordable, and very flexible, with one main Crosspoint 288 the system is very easy to understand and I’m able to route a signal with one click,” says Rychlik.

church operators in samsung hall control room monitoring ICF show

Signal management throughout the venue relies on a series of Universal Videohub routers and Teranex AV standards converters, and Event-AG decided to also specify Blackmagic for kit for production and the control room set-up after a product shootout.  Nine  of  Blackmagic’s  URSA Mini  4.6K  and  Studio  Cameras  were  provided for  capture,  together  with  an  Atem  2  M/E Production Switcher 4K, MultiView and Teranex AV standards converters for video projection. As well as being an affordable use of congregation money,  the  kit  also  allowed  for  easy  operation by  the  30-person  volunteer  team  handling production  of  the  five  weekend  services,  with three  running  simultaneously  on  Sundays.  “It’s important  that  we  use  a  vision  mixer  suitable for everyone, as some learning to use the Atem mixers are as young as 12 years old.”

The technology facilitates ICF’s growing status around  the  world,  and  allows  it  to  connect  to other  locations  (40  in  total)  for  shared  events. “Video has always been very important for ICF and now with a huge LED wall available to us, it’s even more important. During the services we show pre-produced clips such as personal testimonials,” says Rychlik.  “And now with the Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6 with the EF mount, we finally have a camera which we can use for both live broadcast and video production.” During services video is distributed to screens around the hall and beyond, with more than 20,000 also watching or listening to services on TV and via the church’s online channels. Next on the agenda is full streaming services around the globe to grow the church’s reach even further.

The hall opened at the end of January 2017. With updates still to be made due to a 3-month delay following the hall’s sponsorship by Samsung, the project is an ongoing one for Event-AG and its two clients.

Tech-Spec

Barco E2 Event Master processor

Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K & Studio cameras, MultiViews, Videohubs, DeckLink 4K Extremes, SmartViews 4K, SmartScope Duos 4K, Teranex AVs, UltraStudio 4K, Audio Monitor, HyperDeck Studios, mini & micro converters, Teranex Minis, MultiDock SSD and Atem Production Studios 4K, Broadcast Panels & Talkback Converters 4K

L’Acoustics speakers

Samsung 4K LED videowall