Astana Hz. Sultan Mosque is one of the distinguished buildings in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan. It features an incredible worship area of over 195,000 square feet (60,000 square meters) to allow for 10.000 people to pray at the same time.
The main hall has one main and eight smaller cupolas, of which the main has a diameter of 92 feet and a height of 141 feet. All floors are covered with specially woven carpets, resulting in a fair absorption on the higher end. Most surfaces expect for the floors are covered with marbles and encaustic tiles from Iznik, Turkey.
This unparalleled beauty has a price to pay acoustically, making the halls extremely reverberant especially on the lower end, thus making the electro-acoustical design the ultimate challenge.
After the complete structure was modeled in EASE4.3, the exhaustive design process started, adding and removing speakers so as to keep the intelligibility and sound pressure levels as high as possible, while taking into consideration that having 10,000 people breathing at the same time is perceived as significant noise.
Since the construction schedule was very tight, there was a limited amount of time available for sound system design. After days of around the clock recalculations, Asimetrik (Turkish integrator company) engineers came up with the final design using RCF TT+ Touring and Theatre series speakers which solved the reverberation issues. The self-powered design of the boxes was also extremely convenient eliminating the need to run power from hall to hall.
The state of the art TTL11A-H and TTL11A-B arrays were placed on two sides of the altar (mihrab) to provide for the main source with 6 delay lines of TT051A speakers in the main hall and another TTL11A-H and TTL11A-B array for the extended praying area with 2 more delay lines of TT051A speakers to fill in all the corners and also to maintain an even coverage of sound pressure and a flat response for the entire praying area.
The importance of discretion of sound systems in such venues with spectacular features cannot be overstated. Thus, all these speakers were customized to fit in the colours of marbles and tiles.
Following the installation and completion of the venue, measurements proved the design to be right, with remarkable coherence to the computer model.