Chief acoustician Paul Scarbrough said the design and the acoustics were inspired by three world-class concert halls – the Musikvereinsaal in Vienna, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Boston Symphony Hall.
One of the most innovative features of Schermerhorn Symphony Center is a convertible seating system that is designed to give the hall unique versatility. The orchestra level seating of the Laura Turner Concert Hall can be transformed from rows of comfortable raked seating at classical performances, to a 5,600-square-foot hardwood, ballroom floor, typically used for cabaret-style events such as pops and jazz concerts. A unique chair wagon motorized system lowers rows of seats into a special storage space below the surface of the ballroom floor. This gives the concert hall great flexibility for numerous types of events throughout the year.
In addition, a system of 102 computerized lights is able to focus, change color and direct their beams to any part of the concert hall rapidly and in synchronization. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center could very well be the best concert hall in the world. It builds on Nashville’s credentials as Music City.
•An acoustical and design masterpiece, comparable to the greatest halls in the world, including Musikverein, Vienna, Austria; The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland; and Berlin Konzerthaus, Berlin.
•Neoclassical revivalist design. Limestone exterior
•Only major concert hall in North America with natural light: 30 soundproof windows into the hall
•2” minimum acoustical isolation joint between the performance hall and rest of building to assure no transfer of vibration or noise into hall
•180’ colonnade facing an adjacent large park—responsive to the most public side of the building
•Space for 115 musicians on the performance platform; plus 140 choral seats behind the platform (which will be sold to public when there is no chorus)
•The centerpiece is the $2.5 million pipe organ.
•The hall will be one of few in the world with natural light. Windows within windows will keep noise out.
The Design and Construction Teams:
Architects: David M. Schwarz/Architectural Services, Design Architect;
Earl Swensson Associates, Architect; Hastings Architecture Associates, Consulting ArchitectAcoustician: Akustiks, IncTheater Planner: Fisher Dachs Associates