The intelligent multi-purpose hall

Whether a disco, concert, or conference, large events require a venue capable of meeting every requirement and demand. The Berlin CityCube is perfect in this regard: Smart building technologies allow flexible utilization and meet the highest safety standards.

Trade fairs, conventions, and events – the Deutschlandhalle in Berlin Platz hosted all kinds of large events for more than 70 years. Bombed during the Second World War and subsequently rebuilt, it was the largest multi-purpose hall in Germany and one of the oldest in the world until its demolition in 2011. In modern times, a flexible building architecture and an integral approach to energy supply, safety, and fire detection technology are indispensable for quickly changing between different events with varying requirements. This is why the CityCube was constructed at the Berlin Messedamm. The multifunctional trade fair and convention hall, spread over two levels and covering approximately 22,000 square meters of usable space, is extremely flexible and ideal for modern applications and the varying requirements of every event. Smart building technologies are one of the keys to success. Together with consistent power distribution, these systems ensure maximum cost-efficiency, reliability, and outstanding fire protection. 

Reliable supply and extreme flexibility

Distributing power efficiently within the CityCube was the first main task. Since the CityCube first opened in May 2014, medium- and low-voltage switchboards and a transformer have supplied power reliably while a busbar trunking system has distributed power within the building. “In addition to the sheet-steel housing that minimizes the fire load, the main advantage of the busbar trunking system is its high flexibility”, explains Klaus-Jürgen Häberlen, Siemens consultant for this project. Versatile tap-off units make outgoing current feeders easy to modify. Flexibility also plays an important role for the CityCube: Movable partitions on both levels allow the area to be subdivided into a maximum of eight conference halls and rooms.


Particular challenge for fire protection

The flexible use of the building creates a whole range of special fire protection challenges. Shortly after opening, an international group converted the upper hall into a disco: Artificial fog billowed all the way up to the twelve-meter high ceiling. The intelligently linked Sinteso fire protection system provides comprehensive protection and ensures a reliable alarm response: Equipped with 1,600 fire detectors, the system is capable of distinguishing between genuine fires and false alarms. The CityCube is also the first building on the trade fair premises equipped according to the full protection monitoring standard: Every double floor and elevator shaft is monitored so the fire protection system does not fall foul of any blind spots.

A universal solution

As the new fire alarm system is connected to the existing one in the other exhibition halls, the entire fire protection system can be monitored and controlled by a single control system. With a total of 3,900 data points, the DESIGO building management system regulates, controls, and monitors the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation as well as the lights and shutters in the CityCube. And not only there: The trade fair company operates a separate control room to which the building management system for the entire trade fair sends information from more than 40,000 sensors and data points. Whole fire scenarios can be controlled across the entire system through this coupling with the fire protection system.


In the CityCube, this means that out of 120 smoke extraction systems, only those located in an area affected by fire are activated. At the same time, the escape route lighting switches on and the elevators are deactivated. In order to starve a fire of fresh air, the air-conditioning systems can be switched off and the windows closed electrically. This flexible concept not only provides the CityCube with an individually adaptable fire protection system, it has most likely turned the multifunctional hall into the most intelligent multi-purpose hall in the world.


Picture credits: Siemens AG, Stephan Klonk Fotodesign

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