Ghent, Belgium

De Krook

De Krook is a large-scale urban renewal project in the Belgian city of Ghent that combines knowledge, culture and innovative entrepreneurship, and forms a meeting place for all Ghent residents. The building includes the new city library, laboratories offices, a café and green areas. In the future, a building close to the complex will also include hubs for innovative economics, an underground concert hall, a second café and a restaurant.

This project was an initiative of the City of Ghent, the University of Ghent and Imec which is Europe's largest research center in the field of microelectronics. De Krook measures up to many identities: a library that is ready for the 21st century. A spearhead for entrepreneurship and innovation. A cultural hub where every Ghent citizen is welcome. And a beacon of civic participation and research. But above all, it's an open house for everyone.

The main goal was to bring a new vibe to this rundown and neglected city district. So to fully complete this renovation of the district and to compete the building, a demand for an excellent-sounding sound installation emerged. The choice of installation was not an easy one as it had many destinations to fulfil. It had to provide the entire complex with background music while taking into account the silent reading zones. So there had to be enough spread without disturbing the traditional tranquillity you find in a library.

Because of all the different spaces of the building, the WX302/W universal wall speakers were the best option to handle every sound while still ensuring true-to-nature, high fidelity reproduction of music and speech. A total of 188 of these speakers are installed in each area of the building. To ensure the safety within the building APM116MK2 Digital paging microphone was installed to allows transmitting a vocal message in each of the zones. To control the audio system 5 different DW5066 digital all-in-one wall panels were installed at strategic places for easy and convenient control of input, volume and source.

The speakers are powered by 3 different CAP amplifiers: the CAP424, the CAP248 and the CAP412. In addition a SMQ750 - WaveDynamics™ quad-channel power amplifier is also used to assure enough power distribution. The sound and speech are distributed by 2 M2 multimedia digital audio mixers while a single CMP30 audio player takes care of the music sources like a CD-player, MP3 player and a AM/FM tuner.

Since the opening of the Krook, the building and its designers have won several national and international architectural awards, such as the prestigious Pritzker Prize.

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