INDOOR PERFORMING ARTS THEATRES: ACOUSTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

ABSTRACT

The successful design of indoor performing arts theatres is greatly influenced by acoustics. As a result, Architects and

Acousticians continue to develop means of improving the quality of these large gathering spaces. Having access to relevant academic material, the author set out to research the key fundamentals of acoustic design, the inadequacies in selected local performing arts theatres and measures that can be adopted to improve these facilities.

A review of critical literature on the considerations of design namely, auditorium form and volume, choice of finishes, reverberation time, surface articulation, sightlines and means of minimizing acoustical defects was carried out to come up with guidelines. These guidelines were used to analyze two local and two international case studies.

From this, it emerged that reverberation time, being a constant depending on space use, is the key parameter that determines the acoustical performance of large gathering facilities. Concluding from that, approaches for achieving optimum reverberation time are documented. Since most performing arts venues in the country were not purpose designed, the information provided can aid in retrofitting exercises for these facilities.

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