Multifunctional marvel: Inside Switzerland’s €37 million Samsung Hall
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.
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.
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
Samsung 4K LED videowall