European Chemicals Agency ECHA
When the decision was made to move the European Chemicals Agency ECHA to Helsinki, a part of the building owned by Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company had to be modified to ECHA’s requirements. Office facilities were constructed for 500 workers as well as meeting and working facilities for the delegations of the 27 member countries of the EU.
ECHA’s conference and meeting centre was built underground into the old exercise and storage facilities. The new space included two conference halls, of which the larger had 110 and the smaller had 69 seats, and four smaller meeting rooms. The working facilities for simultaneous interpreters and technical facilities were located in middle of the conference halls and divided with glass walls.
The facilities also include a multipurpose hall for festive occasions. It is a so-called black box performance facility, where seats and the stage can be organised freely. Image and audio move both directions between the multipurpose hall and the large conference hall. In this way, the facilities can be used as an extension to the main conference hall during major events.
Meetings and decision-making in ECHA are based on audiovisual working methods. All presentations can be broadcast live to all participants. They also have a thin client computer at their disposal, with which they can view the background data required in decision-making. The image and sound link works between all six meeting rooms, and the events at the conference halls can also be recorded.
The audiovisual installation in ECHA’s facilities was one of Finland’s largest installations in public offices. We were responsible for the design of the audiovisual and data systems installed for the conference participants.
The design included the voting and microphone systems in the conference halls, sound system, large projector surfaces and screens on the walls, camera technology, online audio and image broadcasting and the IT system for the conference participants based on thin client technology. We also consulted on the acquisition of these systems and took care of the acoustic design of the facilities.
- Consultants in charge: Tapio Ilomäki / audiovisual systems, Ari Lepoluoto / data systems and Olli Salmensaari / acoustics
- Other experts: Sara Vehviläinen / layout design and modelling, Tarja Lahti / acoustics