PBC&L Architecture, Architect; Raleigh, NC
Robert Davis, Theatre Consultant; New York, NY
2003 AIA South Atlantic Region Honor Award
2002 USITT Merit Award for Architecture 2002 AIA North Carolina Honor Award
Meymandi Concert Hall is a new facility located beside the existing 2,000+ seat multi-purpose Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, North Carolina. The primary purpose of the hall is to serve the North Carolina Symphony as a space for rehearsal as well as performance. Additional uses include symphony pops performances and lightly amplified touring shows.
The new concert hall was designed in a shoebox form, with seats for an audience of 1,600, plus 150 in the choral terrace, and accommodation for 100 symphonic musicians on stage. The performance platform is elevated 2-1/2 feet above the main audience seating area, with a choral terrace extending around three sides of the platform. Custom orchestra risers were designed to accommodate a wide variety of configurations. Lifts were incorporated into the riser system to raise the percussion area and the outside ring of the orchestra (double basses, brass, and last stands of violins, violas and celli). An added advantage in providing the lifts was the reduced space required backstage for storage space.
In the audience area there are two rear balconies plus seating in side balcony ‘ledges’. Variable acoustic banners have been located along the upper side walls of the audience area and on the two flanking walls of the stage area.
The mechanical system design includes an under-floor air supply system with overhead returns. Air is supplied under the audience seats through perforated metal grilles. The new orchestra riser system also integrates air supply to the performers via slots within the leading edge of each riser level.
The public address audio system is a horizontal line array concealed in the choral terrace balcony front. For amplified musical performances a set of portable side stage stack speakers were designed to visually integrate into the room.
An organ alcove has been included in the hall design, awaiting a pipe organ.