After 12 years of reconstruction and renovation works, the beautiful Sarajevo City Hall and National Library finally re-opened in May 2014. RCF took part in the process of giving new life to this antique edifice of great artistic and historic value, providing a complete audio solution for conference rooms and banquet halls with Forum 9000 and Forum 6000 systems, L-PAD 12CX mixing console and CS 3082 slim-line column speakers.
Sarajevo City Hall, locally called “Vijecnica”, was first opened in 1896 as the seat of the National Library. The architectural project is a reflection of the city’s history and atmosphere, with Eastern and Western styles blended together in a unique and intriguing outcome, as often occurs in the Balkans – an area that is particularly rich in cultural and artistic variety, with influences from many different traditions resulting in a fascinating East-meets-West feel. The National Library was burned to the ground in 1992, causing the loss of rare books and antique manuscripts of priceless value. It was then re-built as similarly as possible to the original construction, both in terms of architecture and interior design, and finally re-opened in 2014 with full functionality. Today it serves as the City Hall and seat of the National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, hosting major institutional events and representing one of the main touristic landmarks in a country where tourism is growing steadily.
The City Hall’s acoustics is quite complex and full of reverberation, due to the its unusual architecture – it has a triangular ground plan and a main central area of hexagonal shape. Being the seat of two prominent national institutions, the building had to be provided with a high-reliability cutting-edge AV solutions, that were set up by Haris Sadikovic of Rasa company. Products chosen were RCF Forum 9000 and Forum 6000 conference systems, L-PAD 12 CX mixer and CS 3082 slim-line column speakers. Sadikovic, that has been working with RCF products for more than 15 years, explains the reasons behind the products’ choice: “The City Hall required a reliable system that could be adapted and customized according to the varying needs of each meeting, so we chose Forum 9000 because of its functional richness and operational stability. We equipped the central conference room with 71 microphones, plus the software for conference management. We also installed the RCF digital voting and recording softwares, that allow to set the voting parameters in totally personalized ways, and have several additional functions.” Indeed, thanks to Forum 9000 the city council members can put each speaker’s intervention on digital record, broadcast audio files, enjoy simultaneous translation and multiple streaming. All microphone sets feature a well-advanced neodymium loudspeaker that is automatically attenuated in volume whenever the neighbouring mics are turned on, thus reducing acoustic feedback and providing the council chamber with exceptional sound clarity.
A secondary conference room, where smaller meetings are held, was equipped by Rasa with 41 units of Forum 6000 microphones, a system designed to provide excellent versatility for small-to-medium council chambers. The City Hall’s banquet room also needed an audio solution, but, as Sadikovic explains, “In this case it was not just a matter of acoustic quality, especially in terms of speech reproduction, but also of aesthetic result. We chose RCF CS 3082 slim-line column speakers because they have a discrete visual impact that blends perfectly into the room’s thick multi-coloured pictorial decoration. I would say that they are almost invisible. At the same time they provide a clear and intelligible sound, and very natural reproduction.” Finally, a L-PAD 12CX mixing console was included in the system in order to handle multiple signals.
RCF has been often the AV choice of city councils and local governments. The company’s solutions satisfy the needs of congress halls, parliaments, boards of directors and conventions regardless of their size, with dedicated product lines for small, medium or large conferences, and the highly specialized guidance of the internal Engineering Support Group. Local authorities in the UK have also recently introduced the company’s digital conferencing and voting systems into their council chambers, praising Forum 9000 for its flexibility, cost-effectiveness and easiness of streaming.