The European Solidarity Centre (ESC) in Gdansk, Poland has been fitted with over 80 Genelec loudspeakers in seven rooms of its permanent exhibition, making it the largest installation of products from the brand in the country.
The centre functions as a museum and library celebrating the Polish struggle against communism. It was built at a cost of 80m Euros and was designed by Polish firm FORT Architects.
The company tasked with supplying and installing the audio system for the permanent exhibition was Polish integrator Konsbud Audio, a company with more than 25 years of product distribution experience and a 15-year-plus background in systems integration.
One of the main requirements of the audio system design brief was that the system should be effective from an audio performance point of view, while also being discreet in appearance and able to be easily integrated into the interior of the museum, without interfering with, or distracting from, the exhibition space and individual exhibits. Based on Konsbud’s long experience and relationship with Genelec a combination of 4000 Series loudspeakers and several products from the architectural range were chosen, including in-wall and in-ceiling mounted units.
The products feature in the first floor rooms that are themed around important events and people in Polish history, as well as its second floor. The exhibition is designed to create an impression of participation in the actual events that were happening during the 1980s. The audio system in each room had its own individual task, whether creating a loud but not intrusive musical background, or an intimate atmosphere required for more reflective moments; the directional aspect of the audio installation played a key role in achieving these aims.
Genelec loudspeakers models that were used include the 6010BPM, 6010BWM, 4030BMM, 4030BWM, 4020BMM, 5040BPM, 8040BPM as well as architectural models AIC25 and AIW25 mounted in-wall and in-ceiling. These particular models are characterised by a narrow dispersion angle, which reduces mutual acoustic interferences between individual units. An additional advantage of these models is the paintable grille which allows the speaker to blend into the surrounding décor, as has happened in the STAR militia vehicle which is on display.
In the Pope John Paul II room, a surround sound system has been created which features hidden Genelec 6010As integrated into a collage which pays tribute to the shipyard workers who were killed during the struggles. These combine with AIC25 loudspeakers mounted overhead to evoke an emotional reaction in visitors.
Under one roof, ECS combines the functions of an education and research facility, as well as a museum and exhibition space. The range of activities includes delegates visiting for conferences and lectures, documentary and video recordings and production, book publishing and the use of archive material. At the heart of the building is a permanent exhibition space dedicated to the history of solidarity and related opposition movements. The building also houses a library, reading room, archives, a research centre, an education and training centre, restaurant, bar and a café.