AV revolution at the Djamaa el Djazaïr mosque

The enormous Djamaa el Djazaïr mosque stands tall with the largest minaret in the world and one of the most unique AV installations ever carried out in a house of worship application as Reece Webb reports.

Take one of the largest mosques in the world,add the tallest minaret ever built and throw in a complex, multimedia installation that provides flawless response and integrates seamlessly into the mosque’s gorgeous architecture. What do you get? An AV project of titanic proportions that requires an expert’s touch to deliver.

Enter Advantex, the systems integrator tasked with delivering an all-encompassing, unobtrusive AV system for the Djamaa el Djazaïr mosque in Algiers,Algeria. Paolo Bozzetti, business development director, Advantex, explained his company’s role in the project: “Advantex has worked with the mosque’s main contractor before. Advantex was already working with them on different projects such as hotels,but at that time there was another sub-contractor and that company closed so the contractor had to change the sub-contractors and they called Italian distributor, Prase.

Advantex came in when the construction was already finished, but the people that were on site had been working on the project since 2012, before Inavation Awards 2020 Distributor of the Year, Prase Engineering joined. Bozzetti explained: “We have seen the growth of this project from scratch. We began the integration before the construction project was fully completed, but the site was in an advanced state of construction.

“We already knew where the cables were going to go and where they would pass through,this was a great advantage to us because the site is more than a kilometre long and if you enter a site where you don’t know where the cables can pass or be placed then you could easily lose a year figuring out how the system can work.”

Prase stepped up to provide the equipment for Advantex, as Alberto Prase, business owner, Prase Engineering explained: They  [Advantex] already knew the requests, the modus operandi of the client and the Algerian environment to develop the Djamaa el Djazair Mosque. It's a kind of expertise very important when you are working on such a complex project. 

"We suggested a very custom combination of AV technologies to develop the potential of each area to the maximum, responding to customer requests.  Biamp Community speakers, implemented in the esplanade and the minaret, perfectly fit the challenging Algerian environment, a combination of sand and salty strong wind. Tannoy speakers were chosen for the immense prayer room and theatre; its directive dispersion is the only possibility in these highly reverberant environments. Lab.gruppen amplifiers and Biamp networking system are the only choices, in our opinion, in terms of reliability."

Bozzetti added: “Prase is not a systems integrator, so they approached us as we have a long relationship with them.

"They asked us to do 
the systems integration work. We got involved through Prase instead of the main contractor.”

The task that Advantex faced was colossal: the third largest mosque in the world, over a kilometre long, with the tallest minaret ever built, standing at a phenomenal 265 metres tall. 

The system was designed with a combination of software and on the ground expertise as Prase clarified: "
Our design team used CattAcustic and Ease, two software of acoustic simulation, but without any AI support. The design process was managed by our internal dedicated team, strongly engaged both with the builder and the architect design teams.  

"We could say that Prase was in the crossways between these two, often engaged in mediating different points of view looking for the best compromise to step forward with the project."

Advantex was given the job of installing a unique and comprehensive system comprised of a world-class audio installation as well as a state-of-the-art multimedia installation for the mosque’s meeting rooms and auditorium for the mosque’s meeting rooms and auditorium.

"There is not a mosque built like this, it’s quite unusual for a mosque to have this kind of installation.The level of technology that has been requested here is probably higher than most houses of worship sites around the world." - Paolo Bozzetti, Advantex
Bozzetti: “The client wanted audio distributed over every area of the mosque including the parking, the auditorium, prayer room and the external areas.They have a big system of audio for communication with EN54 certification for the evac system which was handled by Apart EN-10H-G and EN-SM6T10-W loudspeakers distributed in the parking and common areas.

Bozzetti said: "The client also requested audio diffusion in the internal and external areas,which was challenging because the environment is quite large and required different applications for different rooms.”The crowning jewel of the mosque is its titanic prayer room,capable of hosting up to 36,000 people.

Bozzetti: “The prayer room 
is quite big and being able to have audio distribution was difficult.“The design was created by a German engineering studio and the original design specified the use of different loudspeakers. In the end,

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