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062 VENUE


company was hired as the local consultants to work alongside the architects and Artec. The purpose of the role was to make sure the final result was not only what the government wanted but that the solution was technically viable for the local market. In 2007, Exton stepped down from its consultancy role to allow Artec to create the tenders for the project and in 2008 it won the sound, communication and production lighting contracts. In 2010, a further three tenders - AV systems, production lighting additions and digital signage - were awarded to the Reykjavik-based company.


The company reached its current form in 2006, when two of the four founding partners departed and new partners bought in. It splits its business across sales (40%), rental (35%) and services (25%). “In a small market you usually have to be able to do everything,” says Sverrir. Exton has been ‘doing everything’ for quite a few years and has amassed a wealth of experience across different markets. It was partly this expertise that helped it win the tenders it did. But it was the professional approach that its directors took, producing vast amounts of detail within its solutions, which has been recognised as a distinguishing factor. Ingvar Jónsson, who now works as Technical Manager of Sound Engineering at Harpa, explains: “I was part of the team that went over the different bids from the other companies, as well as Exton’s, and they were just standing out in every way. They came up with a whole solution for this venue, which was really nice.”


Image © Kristján Maack


“So it’s great to have been there and to be involved with it afterwards as well,


because we service events in Harpa... For us, the next stop is Denmark, and after that, who knows?”


has addressed the space with various mechanisms to adjust the hall’s acoustics. These include external reverberation chambers outside both sides of the hall, which are accessed by 99 motorised concrete doors and are capable of increasing the volume of the hall by ap- proximately 50%. A canopy weighing 40 tonnes, and split into two sections above stage can be raised and lowered. And motorised ban- ners inside the hall and in the reverberation chambers offer further flexibility to the acoustic treatment.


Artec supplied intricate equipment briefs, which Exton worked to, but made alternative suggestions with some elements. The two most prominent examples were the move from point source to line array and the change to Midas, which wasn’t included in the original specification. Exton’s Project Manager, Kristján Magnússon, reveals how things unfolded: “We had to fight, especially for the line array. We had to give them (Artec) a lot of documentation and show them on paper that our solution would work better than the original specification. Us- ing MAPP from Meyer, we showed that we could get better coverage and less interference between boxes, which simply gives you a better sound. A flatter, easier sound system for the sound engineer to work with. It gives us a system that is closer to being scientifically flat, and then it’s the job of the sound engineer to give colour to what’s going on on stage. That’s not our job; it’s to provide them with the instru- ments. Using MAPP and other solutions, we could show on paper that it was likely to be good - because you never know for sure until it’s switched on.”


The Meyer Sound system comprises a main hang of MICA loud- www.mondodr.com


Eldborg’s seating. Image © Kristján Maack


Within the beautiful architecture that announces the building with such visual allure, there lies a great technological story, with one particularly notable headline: this is one of the largest installed Midas and Klark Teknik digital networks in the world. More of Exton’s fa- voured brands feature in relative abundance, including: Meyer Sound, AMX, Extron, Allen & Heath, DPA, Barco, Martin Professional, ETC, Litestructures and Lift Turn Move (LTM).


The building stands at 43 metres tall, amounts to 28,000 sq metres and is home of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. As well as the dining, drinking and retail elements that join the expansive public space, there are four performance / conference halls and various meeting rooms.


Eldborg is the main hall. It offers a 1,700-seated capacity and compelling surroundings - for both spectator and performer. Artec


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