Acoustical Factors in Auditorium Design

Large performing spaces have been a phenomena since the beginning of civilization. People gathered around re in the evenings to tell and listen to stories in various villages worldwide. The aspect of gathering and listening to performances is ingrained in human culture.

The ancient Greeks and Romans began to build large theatres for events
as early as 1st Century BC. Roman architects like Vitruvius started to explore the idea of performance of sound in large gathering spaces from the begin of the 1st Century. From those early days to recent times, acoustics has continued to be an enigma. Most professionals in the building industry do not understand it mainly because of poor self-sensitisation. Self-sensitisation requires that the professional builder listens carefully to the spaces they design or live in, and gradually over a long period of time tries to understand what acoustics entails. The main reason architects have not quite understood it is that acoustics is non-visual. Architects being visual beings, they cannot represent non-visually how sound performs in a space. Acoustic energy ows non-visibly.

Therefore, a thorough understanding of acoustics is required and it involves understanding more than the visual aspects of building elements, materials, structure and thermal properties.

In Kenya, the art industry is becoming of age. Talented artists are coming up in drama, music, dance, story telling and instrumentals. The government is also working to bring back art and music in the primary school curriculum to allow pupils to embrace their talents from a very early age. The aim is to ensure Kenya becomes a producer of world-wide art talent.

As the arts industry continues to grow, more performing spaces will be needed. It is only fair that architects be prepared for the need of more large performing spaces which will require an involved level of acoustical analysis to develop successfully.

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