KBJ Architects Inc., Architect of Record; Jacksonville, FL
Rothman Rothman Heineman Architects Inc., Design Architect; Boston, MA
Fisher/Dachs Associates, Inc., Theatre Consultant; New York, NY
Jacoby Symphony Hall was built as a new concert hall incorporated into the renovation project of the Jacksonville City Auditorium complex. The new concert hall was inserted within the existing building, replacing the underutilized exhibition hall. Extensive areas of the existing building were used for ancillary spaces serving the concert hall, including lobby space, mechanical equipment rooms, and backstage spaces.
The primary purpose of the hall is to provide a rehearsal and performance space for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Additional uses include symphony pops concerts and lightly amplified touring acts.
The hall is designed in a shoebox form, with seats for an audience of 1,800, plus 200 in the choral terrace. The performance platform, which accommodates 100 instrumentalists, is elevated slightly above the main audience seating area. A choral terrace extends around three sides of the orchestra platform. Custom orchestra risers were built to accommodate a wide variety of musical performances.
The audience chamber has two rear balconies, and narrow side balconies. Variable acoustic banners are included along all of the tall sidewalls as well as on the back walls of each balcony. Fabric wrapped fiberglass panels can be hung manually on the sidewalls of each side balcony area for use in amplified shows.
The project provided for the renovation and future reinstallation of the original pipe organ, a 97-rank Casavant Frères symphonic instrument which dates to 1914. The organ was reinstalled in the spring of 2001, in its new location above the choral terrace at the upstage wall of the room.