Algiers – You wouldn’t know by standing in front of it, but the Centre International des Conférences (CIC) in the Algerian capital is one of the five largest spaces of its kind in the world. That’s because a large part of its 220,000 square metres is, much like the local dunes that inspired it, designed to ebb and flow and rise and fall with the landscape. The spaces inside it are meant to operate with that same flexibility, as a complex system of partitions can turn a 705-seater conference hall into a reception room in a matter of minutes.
And with the diversity of layouts located tightly within it, how did the venue provide sound fidelity in spaces meant to serve as a showcase for the human voice? By relying on the equally diverse acoustic solutions from Italian purveyor Fantoni.
The Udine-based company had successfully worked before with Fabris & Partners, the Italian architecture firm in charge of the CIC. This project, though, would require a range of solutions more diverse than anything they had previously devised together: a 6,000-seat auditorium was just one of the spaces on the list for the massive undertaking in Algiers.
Founded in 1882, Fantoni has developed a wide-range of sound-absorbent panels focused on both the performance of their products and the wellbeing of the people who use them – sonic pollution is one of the hidden health hazards of urban living. In fact, the company received the Compasso d’Oro for lifetime achievement in 1998, due the innovative solutions that come out of its Research Centre. That’s where products such as the versatile 4akustik, used in the CIC, came from.