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Our grandstands in the legendary Centennial Hall

The Forum Seating brand once again confirmed that it is capable of handling even the most demanding projects. We prepared modern mobile grandstands for the Centennial Hall in Wrocław, a building listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The grandstands were made to fit in with the architectural design of the facility.

Each respectable handbook in history of architecture includes a mention of the Centennial Hall in Wrocław. The facility was constructed in 1911-1913 and since then it has attracted a lot of interest and attention all over the world. It was the first time that Max Berg, the designer, used reinforced concrete, which was regarded as an avant-garde material at that time. What also drew attention was the shape of the building: rotund, with a dome whose diameter is over 65 metres, which was a world record back then. The Hall is considered an engineering masterpiece, which is why it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: a list including only the finest architectural specimens.

Subsequent renovations and repairs are intended to retain its splendour and to adjust the facility to contemporary requirements for organising events, such as sports championships, concerts, trade fairs and conferences. One of our brands, Forum Seating, has its share in these works. It has recently made new grandstands on the ground floor of the Centennial Hall. The solutions applied in this project were created especially for this facility and designed with reference to its groundbreaking history.

Arched way towards the lift

Specialists from Forum Seating confirm that although the building was constructed more than one hundred years ago, it is still impressive.

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When we met with the investor to take down all the measurements needed to design the grandstands, we instinctively asked ourselves how the architect made all his calculations without having access to our modern technology. Also, we didn’t really imagine how the hall was built without contemporary machines – says Piotr Ernt, Project Manager, and Tomasz Klimek, Telescopic Grandstand Constructor Team Manager.

The challenge posed to Forum Seating may not have been as complicated as the one early-20th-century engineers had to face, but in our branch it was definitely a difficult and time-consuming task. According to the requirements, the three grandstand segments on the ground floor were supposed to be folded (telescopic system), plus, it should also be possible to move them to the lift platform in order to store them in the warehouse. We had to take a few elements into account, such as retaining the strength of the landings considering the limited size and loading capacity of the lift or the rotund plan of the building itself.

Forum Seating constructors met all the requirements. Grandstand segments are composed of six 6-metre wide modules. After they are folded, the modules can move to the front and back, as well as to the sides. Plus, there is an option to turn them by 15 degrees, which is why the folded grandstand can move along a curve to  guarantee an easier way onto the platform – explains Tomasz Klimek, whose team developed this customized solution to conform to the requirements.

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Customized grandstands

The greatest challenge involved ensuring the strength of the first platform in each of the modules. In order to be mobile, it needs to lift and carry the weight of the whole construction. To this end, the grandstand design had to be based on a series of calculations and then a prototype was made and tested.

In order to complete such a complex order, you need relevant resources, so hardly any company would be willing to undertake it. Our advantage is that we are part of Nowy Styl – a thriving company with sufficient resources and means. This is how we can virtually tailor the grandstands to any requirements: design, test, manufacture them in our own plants and them assemble them, train the staff to use them and if needed, provide maintenance services  – enumerates Piotr Ernt.

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A game of chess

In the case of the Centennial Hall, an additional service we provided was supplying seats to match the aesthetics of those already fixed on the concrete balconies. To do this, Forum Seating had to introduce a brand new seat. To match these requirements, the team designed and produced 1500 wooden chairs known as Podium. The implementation team made every effort to make the shape and colour of the chair match the client’s expectations, at the same time guaranteeing maximum comfort for the end user.

As Jakub Rachfalik, Managing Director at Forum Seating, says, the grandstands designed for the Centennial Hall are a perfect representation of the trends in this branch, as well as a proof of how many competences need t be combined to match the ever-growing demands of the market: Sometimes a collective term “telescopic grandstands” is used to describe these products. Many companies boast they offer such solutions. For us, this is only the starting point, the name of a system. It the basis to build a new product from scratch, tailored to the requirements of this specific client. It’s like a game of chess: we have certain rules that are mandatory, but there are no two identical games. This is also true of our grandstands: each of them is unique. We keep developing new solutions, tailored to the needs and character of a specific facility, so that their operators can freely set up the auditorium on every occasion. In other words, we already think how to prepare for the next “game of chess.”

Please explore our photo gallery featuring the grandstands designed for the Centennial Hall.

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