LIFE Campus in Denmark provides young Danish students intensive engagement with a range of learning experiences in STEM. It has resources for giving students memorable learning adventures in 360-degree immersive environments created by cutting-edge digital technologies. The facility’s extensive AV systems and sophisticated control networks include a total of more than sixty Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers. Stouenborg, the consulting and integration firm, carried out the design and installation of the system. Berkeley, Calif.-based Meyer Sound announced that LIFE Campus also won an Inavation Award in the “Education” category at ISE 2022.
Need for Immersive Environment
The LIFE Campus is located in Lyngby, adjacent to the Technical University of Denmark. It is currently operated by the non-profit LIFE Foundation. The organization founded the campus with the mission of inspiring Danish school children to become fully engaged in their formative years with inquiry-based science education. The new 5,400 square meter space opened in late 2021 by HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. It is situated in an expansive natural area.
“The LIFE Foundation is an ambitious project with the purpose of strengthening young students’ knowledge of — and fascination with — the natural sciences,” says Mogens Laursen Hastrup, head of AV operations for the campus. “Therefore, we wanted to have only the best technical elements in our education center. And that includes outstanding sound systems which afford extraordinary opportunities for auditory support of teaching.”
Creating the Spaces
For large group learning experiences, LIFE Campus offers the innovative Kolossalen (“Colossal Hall”). This is a large open space that can divide into two separate rooms. All the walls can serve as projection screens using 11 Panasonic projectors. Moreover, to control the acoustics, the wall surfaces employ a perforated metal material. This helps keep the reverb time to an intelligibility-friendly 0.8 seconds.
One side of the room, with a tiered floor, is termed “Auditorium 180.” Here, Meyer Sound’s CAL 96 column array loudspeakers orients the sound and visuals to one side. They are concealed behind the perforated wall/screen surface. These loudspeakers use advanced beam steering technology with beam-splitting capability to precisely tailor coverage to the tiered seating areas.
The other half of the space, when divided and enclosed, is the “Auditorium 360.” The most striking feature here is its dynamic spatial audio enabled by Meyer Sound’s Spacemap Go spatial sound design and mixing tool. The tool uses an intuitive iPad interface. With this, Spacemap Go allows the user to freely move sounds around and through the space, directing them to the 26 full-range loudspeakers and four subwoofers, either singly or in loudspeaker groups.
“When designing this space, we consulted with workgroups of teachers and tech personnel,” notes Anders Jørgensen, project manager for Stouenborg. “They wanted to have 360-degree projection, and although Spacemap Go [was not] yet introduced, I knew it was coming. I recommended we support the projection with dynamic spatial sound.” Jørgensen then reveals that the team accepted the idea and the Spacemap Go arrived on time.
The Auditorium 360 system deploys 12 HMS-10 surround loudspeakers around the walls. Additionally, there are four more in the ceiling along with 10 UP-4slim compact loudspeakers. Lastly, four MM-10XP miniature subwoofers supply deep low frequencies.
According to Jørgensen, the flat-profile of the HMS-10 was a key element in making the concept work. “The speakers are all hidden behind the perforated walls. And the HMS-10s were the only ones with the power to project through the walls and still fit in the space allowed.”
Expanding Horizons of Education
The rooms’ capabilities have opened new horizons for learning, according to Mogens Laursen Hastrup. “The multi-room allows us to present scientific phenomena — such as extreme weather, atomic structure, or lunar landscapes — in completely new ways to get the pupils’ attention and stimulate their interest. The dream is that, when they leave LIFE Campus at the end of the day, they think science is cool and they want to learn more.”
The team also installed other Meyer Sound systems throughout LIFE Campus. For example, there are Ashby-8C ceiling loudspeakers in the three laboratory classrooms (8 in each), in the large meeting room (4), and in the foyer (16). In the intimate canteen, two MM-4XP miniature self-powered loudspeakers supply full-range music reproduction. An MM-10ACX subwoofer further augments these loudspeakers.
“Our AV systems are crucial to the support of teaching at LIFE Campus,” summarizes Hastrup. He notes that they tune and turn on the projectors and sound systems first thing in the morning. Likewise, they shut down the systems last at the end of the day.
Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects designed the LIFE Campus. Moreover, DNA strings, Fibonacci sequences, and other scientific and mathematical patterns inspired the architecture. The façade also features 96 solid oak columns. Novo Nordisk Foundation provided majority of the funding for the LIFE Foundation.
Click on “View Slideshow” on upper-right corner for images of Meyer Sound at LIFE Campus.