The Mežaparks Great Stage reconstruction project aimed to improve its acoustics using spherical acoustic panels. A unique solution was sought to produce 510 spherically-curved wooden shields in 16 different sizes, the largest with a 4 m diagonal measurement. No manufacturer had experience with this, but ZAZA TIMBER Production committed to finding a solution.
ZAZA TIMBER Production (formerly: IKTK) found a solution to making the acoustic panels.
The acoustic panels had to be sufficiently heavy, and were to be made of timber several centimeters thick, as well as in different sizes and with different curvatures. No manufacturer in Latvia had experience in making these types of structures.
While consulting with our partners at the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, we discussed various manufacturing solutions. We decided to make the panels from 36 mm-thick birch plywood. This was conducted by gluing together several 9 mm plywood layers made by Latvijas Finieris. We made individual press molds for each panel size. To do this, we purchased a large-scale vacuum press.
After experimenting with bending rate, glue type and volume, we found the most suitable manufacturing technology for each panel size and prepared prototypes before beginning manufacture. The biggest challenges were posed by bending the smallest panels with a smaller radius, as they had the greatest tension.
In total, we made 510 spherically-curved shields in 16 sizes out of timber, the largest with a 4-meter diagonal measurement.
After manufacture, we tested the panels with shear, bond and bending tests. The panels were treated for water protection with Sakret paint on-site at the factory.
For the acoustic project, each panel required a different installation angle. We therefore pre-assembled the panels at our factory, fixing each panel to its individual fastening.
We transported the prepared panels and assembly fixtures to the construction site.
Project length: 6 months.