The Suzhou Olympic Sports Center in Suzhou, China has been shortlisted for a Mondo Award in its Stadium category. The stadium, aquatic center and indoor arena all rely on Dynacord and Electro-Voice sound systems. Dynacord Cobra series loudspeakers provide excellent audio performance around the venues while VariLine Series loudspeakers deliver music to all the players in the skating rink. In addition, the solutions include also loudspeaker systems from sister brand Electro-Voice. These include 104 EVH weather-resistant horn-loaded speakers, 70 X-Line Advance X2 line-arrays, and UW30 underwater loudspeakers.
With the development of the knowledge economy, the global competitive landscape of cultural soft power has been formed. As one of the representatives of soft power, sports culture is an important symbol of urban modernization and implies the heritage of urban development. Suzhou Olympic Sports Center locates within the core area of Suzhou Industrial Park and it covers an area of about 360,000 square meters. This new urban landmark is a grade-A sports center with multifunction that integrates sports, leisure & fitness, entertainment and artistic performance. It is a building complex including a stadium, a gymnasium and a natatorium, as well as commercial constructions and affiliated facilities like sports plaza and the outdoor sports park. The sub-brands of Bosch - EV and DYNACORD provide the specialized professional sound solutions.
Invested by Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou Olympic Sports Center is a multifunctional sports center that includes a 45,000-seats stadium, a 13,000-seats gymnasium, a 3,000-seats natatorium and a commercial plaza with a hotel tower. Its design and planning was inspired by classical garden architectural art. Suzhou Olympic Sports Center is built as a dynamic, fully opened sports park that delivers the atmosphere of ancient garden in a modern approach. All venues were designed by the German company GMP, which used to be responsible for the Berlin Olympic Sports Center project, strictly following the standards of the individual intercontinental event. The sound reinforcement system includes the following EV products: 104 EVH weather-resistant loudspeakers, 70 X2 line array loudspeakers, nearly 100 TG7 amplifiers integrated RCM28 modules and EV UW30 underwater loudspeakers. In addition, DYNACORD Cobra series loudspeakers provide an excellent audio performance for portable use in three venues of the Olympic Sports Center, while DYNACORD VL series loudspeakers deliver exciting music to all the players in the skating rink.
The single-layer cable membrane structure
Each stadium has its own features, Suzhou Olympic Sports Center stadium is the first stadium with saddle-shaped, single-layer cable membrane structure roof in China. This also brought the challenges to the entire sound reinforcement system design. The leader of the Project Design Department of Suzhou Olympic Sports Center mentioned, “Generally speaking, most stadiums adopt the steel framed structure. The special structure used in this project means that we have to use 40 cable heads across the stadium to fasten the membrane.” Due to this unique design, the catwalk is above the membrane and there are no fixed mounting points for loudspeaker installation, thus making the installation and maintenance very difficult. Furthermore, the swing range of up and down exceeds 1.5 meters. Those increased the difficulty of whole sound system design. “After elaborate consideration, Bosch team introduced the installation method of London Bowl. Bosch guys worked with specialized designers to make a mounting point on each tapered end and install a pulley. Then we can use a winding engine to lift the loudspeakers, or take down for inspection and maintenance. By this way, the challenge of installation was finally conquered.” He also added, “in addition to tackling the hanging technical difficulty, another reason why we choose the single-layer cable membrane structured roof is that we hope to make a breakthrough in the aesthetic appearance of the stadium. EV’s white-coloured EVH weather-resistant loudspeakers perfectly match the cable membrane structure not only on colour but also on overall environment. What’s more, EVH’s audio quality makes sure that every audience at any position can hear clear sound and dynamic performance.”
Gymnasium integrating sports and cultural recreation
As a comprehensive venue, this 13,000-seats gymnasium has been designed to serve multiple purposes since very beginning. The central funnel screen is designed according to the standards of large international events such as NBA. It can offer superb viewing experience for variety shows and exhibitions. In order to provide both visual and audio enjoyment, 70 pcs EV X2 new-generation line array loudspeakers achieve 360º sound coverage for floor and audience area. This allows the audiences to enjoy clear, real and exciting sounds on live. During daily use, the audiences on site are shocked by the audio quality delivered by X2.
Natatorium integrating sports and fitness
In addition to standard competition pools and training pools, the natatorium also provides various spa facilities, stores selling water sports supplies, children’s amusement and leisure equipment for local citizens. The owner also chose the white EVH loudspeakers below the roof of the natatorium, which blended in decoration of the venue in terms of appearance and sound clarity. “Considering the needs of diving as well as training and performance of synchronized swimming, we have also selected EV’s UW30 underwater loudspeakers in the swimming pools, so that people under the water could hear the music, as well as the messages through microphone sent by people on shore clearly without additional receivers.” added the leader of the Project Design Department.
Commercial plaza with comprehensive functions
The commercial plaza, which is designed with affiliated functions including shopping, office and hospitality, supports the three sports buildings and adds the leisure entertainment atmosphere to the entire park. The ice rink in the commercial centre is installed with DYNACORD VL series two-way full range loudspeakers to cover every corner in a balanced manner and add more fun to the skaters with beautiful music.
All audio and control signals within the sports venue including stadium, gymnasium, natatorium and ice rink are transmitted on the basis of OMNEO protocol. The main digital signal and redundancy digital signal can be the backup to each other. This ensures smooth, stable signal transmission throughout the sports centre. EV and DYNACORDs’ total solution on sound reinforcement not only addresses the design and application requirement of the sports centre, but also helps boost the robust development of China’s cultural and sports.