Acentech Inc., a nationally recognized multi-disciplinary acoustics, audiovisual systems design, and vibration consulting firm, is proud to announce that it has completed work on the Sala Sinfonica Pablo Casals, a new symphony hall within the Centro de Bellas Artes complex in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The new hall was inaugurated on October 3rd with a symphonic concert by the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. Acentech’s Studio A, specializing in the performing arts, provided architectural acoustics consulting, sound system design, mechanical system noise and vibration control consulting, and acoustical computer modeling for the highly anticipated project.
Designed by architect Rodolfo Fernández and named after the beloved Spanish Catalan cellist and conductor Pablo Casals, Sala Sinfonica Pablo Casals will be the new permanent home of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra). The new 1,300-seat Sala Sinfonica Pablo Casals will be dedicated to musical performances, serving a range of symphonic, chamber, and popular music styles. The hall was specifically designed to meet the acoustical profile for classical music: sufficient reverberance or liveness, good clarity, plenty of strength, and a high degree of spaciousness. These sound attributes are supported by interior materials chosen for their appearance, practicality and acoustics, offering an embracing listening experience for the audience and superior sound for the performers. The ceiling and walls are made of multiple layers of drywall and solid wood, respectively, to be both acoustically reflective and beautiful.
“Sala Sinfonica Pablo Casals was designed to meet every known measure of acoustical quality and to act in concert with the performers and their instruments,” said Chris Savereid, president of Acentech. “We are proud of the exquisite acoustical quality of this concert hall, and we salute the multitude of musicians, singers, and performers who will take its stage for years to come.”For the new symphony hall, Acentech’s Studio A determined the interior shaping and finishes of ceiling, wall and floor surfaces, and made design recommendations that were validated through the use of acoustical computer models that analyzed the acoustical properties of the design. The design is a variation on the traditional “shoe box” concert hall, featuring a relatively narrow and intimate seating plan. Balcony level seating wraps around the sides and rear of the stage, to accommodate both audience and choral members, as needed. The straight balconies and sidewalls provide highly desirable lateral reflections, which create a sense of sound immersion. The seating chamber has retractable velour curtains on the upper side and rear walls to allow users to vary the reverberant character of the hall and accommodate the wide range of musical styles.
“The new hall’s acoustics are brilliant and warm, and Sala Sinfonica Pablo Casals has a soul,” said Henry Hutchinson-Negrón, Concertmaster of Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico. “To create beautiful music, there is always a give and take between the music and the hall. This hall really gives back. The acoustics here will allow the orchestra to shape our sound, to add various colors to the genre of music we play. We are so happy to have a hall that will allow us to develop our sound even further.”
Audiovisual specialists from Acentech’s Studio A also designed the house sound system, which features a retractable main loudspeaker cluster that can be hoisted into the attic during symphony concerts when amplification is not required. They also consulted with the project mechanical engineer on the design of a quiet air conditioning system.
The Sala Sinfonica Pablo Casals shares an existing plaza that includes a large multipurpose auditorium and a smaller drama theater that were completed in 1981. BBN, Acentech’s predecessor, was acoustics consultant and designed the sound systems for the existing Festival Hall and Drama Theaters at the Centro de Bellas Artes.
Studio A is a specialized consulting group of Acentech Inc., dedicated to providing world-class acoustical, audiovisual systems design, and vibration control for the performing arts. With over 60 years of consulting heritage, Studio A’s integrated approach and multi-disciplinary capabilities enable it to create the best acoustical conditions possible in support of the art of the performance – beautiful sound, state-of-the-art audiovisual systems, and a quiet backdrop unencumbered by noise or vibration from building systems or external sources. For more information about Studio A, please visit www.Acentech- StudioA.com.
Acentech Inc. is a multi-disciplinary acoustics, audiovisual systems design, and vibration consulting firm providing a wide range of services to a diverse group of clients. With offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Trevose, Pennsylvania; and Westlake Village, California, the company’s professional staff of more than 50 consultants has broad and deep expertise in all areas of acoustics and audiovisual systems design consulting. Having celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008, Acentech is the oldest and largest organization of its type: an unequaled resource to engineers, architects, and designers worldwide. For more information, please visit www.acentech.com.