The Royal Conservatory TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning has generated synergies with a range of arts organizations in Toronto, including the Toronto International Film Festival and is a preferred venue for private and corporate functions. The entrance off Philosopher’s Walk has increased pedestrian activity and by extension the level of safety in this treasured historic public park. The café in the ground level atrium is a highly frequented destination for students and parents, as well as the general public. Koerner Hall is celebrated as a perfect integration of architecture and engineering – and lauded by world class performers including Yo-Yo Ma for the seamless fusion of superb acoustics, warmth of atmosphere. and beauty.
With aspirations that their new facilities be at least as good as their world renowned music education programmes, the RCM set out to create the best possible facilities on a tight budget. Together with the faculty and administration, Sound Space Design set very high standards for the acoustics of the Koerner Concert Hall and the new teaching studios.
The RCM realised that their need for an excellent performance and rehearsal venue for their orchestras and choirs was compatible with the greater music community’s need for an excellent chamber music hall of about 1000 seats in central Toronto. So we created acoustics that would be excellent for student symphony orchestra as well as for top rank professional chamber music and chamber orchestras. SSD Director Robert Essert brought to the project his experience of leading the acoustics design of some of the best halls of the past 30 years: Lucerne KKL (Switzerland), Sage Gateshead (UK), Chan Centre (UBC, Vancouver) and the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto.
The Koerner Hall acoustics are adjustable, and the staging fl exible, to serve the wide range of orchestral, chamber and choral music, traditional music, the evolution of (global) music, electronics and concert-going habits in the coming decades. Recording sessions, multi-media, electronic events and popular music will all fi nd a home in this hall. This breadth of quality is achieved without compromising the mandate for excellent orchestral and chamber music acoustics. Within all of this flexibility, the “signature sound” of the hall remains identifi able and key to the success.
"Singing in the Koerner Hall was one of the nicest experiences of my career...Bravo for achieving that marvelous goal of creating a sensational acoustic. Bravo and thank you." - Frederica von Stade
A large space as quiet as a mouse When the Royal Conservatory of Music wanted to upgrade and expand its existing facilities, they turned to us for noise and vibration control.
The big noise control issue was that there was a subway line deep beneath the property. Not to mention noise had to be mitigated between the multiple rooms including teaching facilities and concert space within the building.
To solve the issues, we isolated the building on large rubber pads as part of our solution. Today, the rooms have been described as "certainly the quietest large building in the country" with no trace of subway noise, making it as quiet as can be humanly heard.