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The chandelier, which is suspended inside the oval reflector, is an important element in the hall as performs several tasks. It is the auditoriums main source of illumination, using LED for the first time in such a setting. It weighs 8.5 metric tons and has a diameter of 7m. It is made up of 5800 hand cast glass crystals through which 800 LED lights shine. This bathes the room in a cool diffuse light. The whole chandelier can be lowered to the floor for maintenance.
It is also an important acoustic reflector. This explains the particular form which scatters and diffuses sound. The distance between the strips of crystals increases towards the stage to allow a greater amount of sound to pass through and therefore contribute to the reverberance of the space. It is placed forward of the centre in order to allow unhindered sightlines from the follow spot room on the rear of the oval reflector.
Finally it forms a visual closure to the hall itself to take attention away from the technical spaces and structure above.
The stage curtain
The stage curtain is also an important element in the auditorium. Together with the chandelier and seat fabric it is a contrast to the dark timber. It has been made by the american artist Pae White, following an international competition. She has worked with digital images of aluminium foil which reflects and adopts the colurs of the auditorium. These images are then transferred to a computer driven loom.
Stage 2 can, depending on the chosen seating configuration, house an audience of up to 400. It will be used by both opera and ballet, as well as for banquet functions, rock concerts, experimental performances and children's theatre. It is a multi use hall where the seats, which are on large wagons, can be repositioned in a number of different configurations. There are 2 large elevators which form an amphitheatre, orchestra pit and transport seating wagons for storage in the basement.
The area which is normally the stage is made up of removable floor elements. The auditium has no flytower but rather an extensive motorised pully system to hang and transport scenery, backdrops and acoustic reflectors when necessary. A 9m high sliding gate connects the stage area with the back stage zones and scenery stores. The reverberation time in the hall can be damped down for amplified performances.
The client required an auditorium with the flexibility of a black box but with an amount of architectural quality and identity. These to requirements are generally considered to be mutually exclusive, but after close discussions with the end user, a solution was found where of a black box has a high quality cotrasting, freestanding structure placed inside it.
This ‘object' has rounded, high gloss, red paneling on the outside and a cooler metallic silver finish in towards the stage.
Four technical bridges span across the space at high level housing lighting and ventilation and forming an important visual and acoustic ceiling.
Between the columns, large, black painted doors and removable panels are used to adjust to different configurations. These panels have also been given acoustic consideration.
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