National Forum of Music, Poland

The new National Forum of Music in the historic city of Wrocław is the largest multi-purpose centre in the Polish province of Lower Silesia.

The main aim of the client, a public institution comprising the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the city and regional authorities, was to create a modern concert space for 11 instrumental vocal groups in the region as well as to host national and international music events.

This prestigious development, with six storeys above and three storeys below ground,  will have four concert halls, one with 1,800 seats and the others designed for audiences of between 250 and 450, as well as a recording studio, rehearsal rooms, conference and office facilities and an underground car park. There is also an adjacent three-storey car park.

As part of a multidisciplinary team of engineering practices providing different design services, we provided the full scope of mechanical services’ design for the development. It was crucial to coordinate fully with the other team members, in particular the acoustics consultant, as maintaining the various spaces’ sound quality was the main challenge for the mechanical services.  

We made several improvements to the design to address the issue of noise generation by the technical equipment. These included designing larger than standard fan coils for a number of critical spaces in the building, reducing noise pollution by enabling a lower rotational speed of the fans. In other spaces we added suppressors on the delivery side of the induction units to absorb the noise emitted by the fittings.

We also applied several energy efficiency solutions in the mechanical services’ design. The ventilation equipment is fitted with a heat recovery system from exhaust air and CO2 and sensors in the small concert halls reduce air supply at times when the spaces are not in use. In addition the systems in the main concert hall can be individually stopped when not needed. The air handling units have been equipped with inverters, which enable air intake to be limited when the building is not fully used.