The huge Djamaa el Djazaïr Mosque in Algiers boasts the tallest minaret in the world and one of the largest and most complex AV installations in a place of worship. The project was made by several international companies: Italy also contributed with the consultant Stefano De Troia and the technology provider Prase Media Technologies.
The third largest mosque in the world was inaugurated at Algiers at the end of 2020. It’s more than a kilometre long and it’s embellished by the highest minaret ever built (265 metres), an immense prayer hall (able to accommodate up to 36,000 people!) and a complex and stratified multimedia installation, including a large auditorium and several projection rooms equipped with film projectors. All this, of course, in a logic of perfect integration with the sought-after architecture of the mosque.
An AV project of this size necessarily requires a great deal of expertise in the design phase and in supplying the necessary products. This is where the combination of design consultant for the AV system, Stefano De Troia (already used to take major projects abroad) and Prase Media Technologies, supplier of most of the systems used, came into being. Then, System Integrator Advantex took care of the installation. Stefano De Troia says: “There were many critical points in the project. To mention just one, the sound from the minaret had to be heard up to three kilometres away, which was not easy, especially considering the proximity of the sea. It was a huge project, I started working on it in 2017 and we finished in 2020. Prase’s participation was fundamental because we have a relationship of trust and mutual knowledge, and I already knew their contribution in terms of product quality and professionalism.”
With reference to the Audio Video part, De Troia says: “In addition to the worship facilities, the complex also includes a large conference hall and four cinemas. Original plans even included film projection! We updated them, of course, with an eye to the future, proposing AV-over-IP solutions that for 2017 were almost futuristic, and which still hold up very well today. Everything is wired and connected by fibre optics, which allowed us to design a system that distributes the signals over several kilometres. The EVAC part is also fundamental, with a system of about 10,000 dedicated Biamp Apart EN-10H-G and EN-SM6T10-W speakers.
In short, it’s all thought out big for this Algerian flagship. The Community loudspeakers (the brand recently became part of the Biamp offering), implemented in the esplanade and minaret, are well suited to the Algerian environment of sand, high winds and saltiness. Tannoy loudspeakers were chosen for the prayer room and conference hall, with a directional dispersion suitable for particularly reverberant environments. Lab.gruppen amplifiers and the Biamp networking system ensure the reliability of the system, which is essential for a project of this size. Stefano De Troia concludes: “As for the video side, the system is currently focused on full HD projectors but can be implemented up to 4K. On the audio side, the most challenging aspect was to measure ourselves against such vast environments. Just to give an example, there are 50 metre high columns in whose concrete capitals loudspeakers have been discreetly and effectively installed to cover the entire esplanade facing the mosque”.