Hall 1 seats an audience of 425. It is a building within a building – a box that sits on isolation mounts to provide complete acoustic separation from the rest of the building and the outside world. The hall is three storeys tall and is accessed from the concert foyer.
Structural columns around the hall are set away from the wall surface to allow curtains to be drawn behind to modify the acoustic for speech or amplified music. The variable acoustic allows for a wide range of performances from intimate chamber music recitals to jazz and electronic music and spoken word events.
The lighting includes a continuous uplighting wash behind the base of the columns that creates a ‘dawn/dusk’ effect for the beginning and end of performances. The timber grid is intended to be a direct expression of the cubic nature of the shoe box auditorium type.
The interior has been lined with European oak veneer, hand selected by the project team from the Spessart region of Germany. All of the veneer sourced for the hall came from a single 500-year-old oak tree which yielded over an acre of prime grade veneer. The hall went on to win the Gold Award at the 2009 Wood Awards and was described by the judges as ‘a tour de force of precision joinery’.
Hall 2 is a flat-floor flexible performance and rehearsal space. It can seat 220, accommodate a standing audience of 330, or hold an orchestra of 75 for rehearsal. It has a sprung timber floor and a pipe grid above for production lighting, speakers and acoustic curtains.