Nokia Arena and the Tampere Deck are top-class sound environments

In the beginning there was a very challenging construction site in terms of noise and vibration. The end result is an award-winning multifunctional arena with best-in-class acoustics, as well as a whole new city district with hotels, offices and apartments which meet all requirements related to noise and vibration.

Tampere Deck forms a new district to the city of Tampere. In addition to a multifunctional event and sports hall (called Nokia Arena), it consists of several apartment buildings, offices, and a hotel. In this, one of the largest hybrid projects in Finland, Akukon was responsible for design related to groundborne noise, vibration as well as designing building and room acoustics fit for purpose. Akukon's performance space team was responsible for the AV -design of the main hall.

Tampere deck

The acoustics of Nokia Arena enables top-class sound quality

Nokia Arena is the home turf of local ice hockey teams Ilves and Tappara. However, the arena was not built just for ice hockey, it is also a versatile multifunctional event space and experience centre where concerts and entertainment events are delivered. The cornerstone of an enjoyable audience experience is breathtakingly good sound and visuals.

Audiovisual elements are an essential part of sports events. Photo: Akun Tehdas

The modern soundscape of sports events consists not only of the grunts of the players, the crunch of tackles and the din of the audience cheering their favourite team on. The audience also expects a comprehensive experience, the building blocks of which are well-planned soundscapes and visual elements. In addition to speech, the audio landscape of a sports event includes music, sound effects, and other audio elements.

Acoustics play an integral part in creating the foundation for a good audience experience, whether it's for an ice hockey match, a concert, or any other public event. Announcements must be easily understandable and the music enjoyable. Effects and other sound elements should sound as intended when designing the event. The listener should be immersed in the sound and through that, in the event.

In Akukon, Perttu Laukkanen and Olli Salmensaari were mainly responsible for the design of the building and room acoustics in the project. Based on measurements and user feedback, the room acoustics of Nokia Arena are world class.

Mats Heikkinen and Perttu Laukkanen were in key roles in the design of the Nokia Arena and Tampere deck

Nokia Arena's event technology is operated by Akun Tehdas, whose system designer Samuel Merisalo commented on the acoustics of the Arena:

Nokia Arena has received good feedback from sound engineers regarding the acoustics, which clearly stands out compared to other multifunctional arenas in Finland. In every tiny detail you can hear and see that acoustics has been invested in. The acoustic design has even extended to the seats and many interior details.

In addition to acoustics and noise control, Akukon also consulted on issues related to AV and performance space technology during the planning phase of Nokia Arena. The performance space technology in the arena was implemented, amongst other contractors, by Studiotec Oy which tells about this on its website.

Event technology in construction at Nokia Arena. Photo: Akun Tehdass

Vibration and noise caused by rail traffic must not disturb

The location of the site, just above Finland's busy main railway line, made this project exceptionally challenging. Trains pass frequently under the Tampere Deck, around the clock the whole year round. Groundborne vibration caused by rail traffic is connected to the residential parts of the Deck through the supporting superstructure. In buildings, vibration can be experienced as audible noise or as vibration.

Freight and car trains operating especially at night cause a significant risk in terms of living comfort in the residential buildings situated above. Very extensive and in some places customized noise and vibration prevention measures make coexistence possible between the residents on the Tampere Deck and the trains passing under it.

Finland's main railway runs under the Tampere deck.

Groundborne noise and vibration control design and ensuring the quality of implementation at Tampere Deck was a big project for Akukon which lasted for several years. Mats Heikkinen, the head of Akukon's groundborne noise and vibration team, says that the project was by far the largest and most challenging in terms of groundborne noise realized in Finland. The expertise of the entire team was utilized and unique measurement and modelling methods were developed.

A unique tool to determine whether stiff structural connections, so called sound bridges, had occurred during the construction (developed by Akukon) was used in the measurements of Tampere Deck. Using this tool possible problem areas can be found, for example structures that are unintentionally attached to each other and through which vibration propagates effectively. By defining limited problem areas through measurement, these sound bridges could be repaired before commissioning.

The effects of different railway tracks and switches on groundborne noise and vibration were studied even by using a locomotive reserved for measurement purposes. The locomotive was driven under the deck structure on different routes according to the plan.

A locomotive was used in the groundborne noise and vibration measurements. It was driven under the deck according to the measurement plan.

Multiple awards

Nokia Arena, or Tampere deck arena, has won several awards:

Akukon's team

Noise, frame noise and vibration

  • Mats Heikkinen
  • Jukka Pätynen
  • Timo Peltonen
  • Lauri Vapalahti
  • Minna Santaholma
  • Mira Pykälistö
  • Jussi Vartio
  • Henri Penttinen
  • Sakari Tervo

Building and room acoustics

  • Perttu Laukkanen
  • Olli Salmensaari
  • Janne Saarelainen
  • Hassan Al-Ramadani

Presentation technology

  • Tapio Ilomäki
  • Mikko Joenpolvi
  • Johanna Storm
  • Mira Pykälistö

External links

Services related to Nokia Arena and Tampere deck

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