The O2 universum, a multifunctional space in Prague, was built close to the O2 arena and is intended for large international conferences, exhibitions, cultural events, concerts, and sporting and social events. The complex covers four floors with a total area of almost 50,000 m2 and a capacity of up to 10,000 visitors.
Although the city of Prague receives over 8 million visitors annually, the city has missed out on major conferences and global congresses due to the lack of large meeting spaces. O2 universum was designed to lure the lucrative Meetings and Conventions market in addition to other cultural events to Prague.
The O2 universum building can easily accommodate two or more events at the same time. For example, a violin concerto in Hall C, a basketball match in Hall A, and an international congress in Hall B. Each individual hall is perfectly sound-proof thanks to the building’s special design that prevents the sound from one hall traveling to the other, thus avoiding interference between events.
One of the major challenges was that O2 was the first project of its kind in the Czech Republic due to its size and the business segment targeted.
In addition, the GPA Czech team at AV Media was contracted to deliver very specific technologies for the first time. For instance, the multiple integrated connection boxes needed throughout the venue were custom-made as were all motorized projection screens, with the largest measuring 12 meters wide. Not only did the construction of these customized products poses a challenge, but the logistics did as well.
Finally, GPA Czech Republic was also tasked to change and upgrade the AV services based on a submission originally developed by a competitor during the tender process. This meant several meetings with the investors and technical staff to provide them with the information needed and convince them of the superior content of the proposal that the Czech team had originally submitted.
With the size of the infrastructure, the O2 features many large common areas. Each of these common areas needed to feature signage to direct visitors to their ultimate destination quickly and efficiently. The shared areas were equipped with clear and highly visible digital information panels.
Also, all halls needed large projection screens, high-quality sound systems, state-of-the-art projectors, mobile stands, stage equipment, controlled lighting, and quality wi-fi signal. The team was also able to develop and deliver specially designed integrated connection points that integrated all the AV technology interfaces with the TV broadcast and telecommunication technologies.
GPA Czech Republic was successful in delivering a bespoke solution that maximizes the user experience within the building.
O2 universum is linked with the adjacent O2 Arena, the largest concert and sporting venue in central Europe. The goal of the O2 universum project was to increase the value of O2 Arena by hosting complimentary events.
GPA was invited to the tender to deliver core AV technology together with the complete audio and video signal distribution infrastructure in the hall. As the project was unique by design and scale, only preselected companies were invited. The team not only succeeded with the bid but went above and beyond the competitor’s original AV proposal by delivering added value to the customer. For instance, the AV infrastructure for the 12 medium conference rooms was not originally interconnected, thus preventing these from the option of being joined together to form a larger venue.
O2 universum is crucial for Prague to secure its position amongst other events destinations in Central Europe and is a game-changer for the city. The project O2 universum is regarded as the best-in-class project of its kind by many respected authorities and the project won Building of the Year 2020 in the Czech Republic.