Auditorium Acoustics and Architectural Design

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1 Auditorium Acoustics and Architectural Design Second Edition Michael Barron. J ^A Spon Press an imprint of Taylor & Francis LONDON AND NEWYORK

2 Contents Preface Preface to the first edition Foreword ix xi xiii 1 Introduction 1 2 Sound and rooms The essence ofsound waves The nature of music and speech sounds Sound propagation Sound in rooms Reflections and the ear Sound propagation in detail Acoustic defects Reverberation time design Sound level distribution 35 3 Acoustics for the symphony concert hall Introduction The subjective dimension Objective descriptions Size, volume and form Early reflection design The diffusion question Balcony design Design for the performers (written by A.-C. Gade) Acoustic modelling Objective characteristics 66 4 The development of the concert hall Introduction Early developments The classical rectangular concert hall 79

3 vi Contents 4.4 The directed sound hall The fan-shaped hall The synthesis in British post-war halls The diffuse solution A subdivided acoustic space? The terraced concert hall The lateral directed reflection sequence hall Concert hall design in the 980s Return to precedents British concert hails and conclusions for concert hall acoustics Royal Albert Hall, London Usher Hall, Edinburgh Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool Watford Colosseum Royal Festival Hall, London Colston Hall, Bristol Free Trade Hall, Manchester Fairfield Hall, Croydon The Lighthouse Concert Hall, Poole Barbican Concert Hall, Barbican Centre, London St David's Hall, Cardiff Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Birmingham Symphony Hall Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Waterfront Hall, Belfast Acoustical design of concert halls in subjective and objective terms Solutions to the large concert hall problem Chamber music and recital halls Introduction Reverberation time and loudness Room form for chamber music Wigmore Hall, London Queen Elizabeth Hall, London The Makings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk Faculty of Music Auditorium, Cambridge Conclusions Acoustics for speech The nature of speech Speech in the open air Speech in rooms Is there an optimum profile for theatre design? 264

4 Contents vii 7.5 Design for speech in theatres The early reflection ratio Acoustic measurement of theatres Prediction of reverberation time in theatres Theatre acoustics Classical Greek and Roman theatre Elizabethan theatre in London The development of the proscenium theatre The acoustics of six proscenium theatres The thrust-stage theatre The open stage Theatre in the round Conclusions Acoustics for opera Introduction The elements of opera house design Stage and pit design Opera house form and acoustics Objective assessment of opera houses British opera houses Conclusion Acoustics for multi-purpose use Introduction Variable acoustic elements The totally variable acoustic space Meeting the requirements of both speech and music Variable acoustics through electronics The multi-purpose auditorium with flytower Conclusions Multi-purpose halls in Britain Wembley Conference Centre Central Hall, University ofyork Butterworth Hall, University of Warwick Arts Centre Assembly Rooms, Derby The Hexagon, Reading Eden CourtTheatre, Inverness Theatre Royal, Plymouth Derngate Centre, Northampton Conclusions 448

5 viii Contents 12 The art and science of acoustics Precedence and scientific design Speech and theatre design The concert hall The opera house The multi-purpose hall The future 455 Appendix A: Sound reflection and reverberation calculation 457 A.I Reflection from finite plane and curved surfaces 457 A.2 The Quadratic Residue Diffuser 458 A. 3 Calculation of reverberation time 459 Appendix B: Objective measures for music auditoria 461 B. I The impulse response and the new objective measures 461 B.2 Prediction of occupied reverberation time 463 B.3 Revised theory and correction of energy measures for reverberation time change 464 Appendix C: Further objective results in concert halls 467 C. I Objective results in two New Zealand concert halls 467 C. 2 Objective results in Segerstrom Hall, California 469 Appendix D: Objective measures for speech auditoria 471 D. I Objective measures of speech intelligibility 471 D.2 The criterion speech level for theatres 473 D.3 Revised theory of sound level for use with speech 474 Name index 476 Subject index 481

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