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Good news for Australian expertise.http://www.theage.com.au/news/natio...-a-gig-in-paris/2007/06/24/1182623741884.html


Perfect pitch wins Melbourne firm a gig in Paris
Jean Nouvelle

Bridie Smith
June 25, 2007

GOOD Friday was a particularly good day for Peter Fearnside this year. While in Alice Springs on holiday, the Melbourne acoustic specialist was woken by the beep of a text message.

Although written in French, its meaning was unmistakable. His firm, Marshall Day Acoustics, which had teamed up with the renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, had just been awarded "the Paris job".

"I don't speak French, but people don't send you messages like that if you've lost a bid," he said. "I was pretty sure we'd won."

The Paris job is a big deal. Beating 97 design teams, the Australasian firm will now consult on the $A400 million, 2400-seat concert hall being built in the city's north-east. It is a project that has been in the pipeline for 20 years.

Part of a 50-hectare cultural park, the complex includes two medium-sized rehearsal rooms, practice rooms, a foyer, cafe and a library and is expected to be finished by 2012.

"This is one of the most prestigious performing arts venues to be built in Europe in recent times," Mr Fearnside, the company's managing director, said. "Every architect and acoustician of note in the world was vying for the project."

The architectural brief was to avoid a traditional shoebox-shaped hall. But Mr Fearnside said that when it came to acoustics, the request was for the normally incompatible combination of a high degree of clarity and ample reverberance.

The team designed a double chamber space where the seats are set closer in and wrapped around the orchestra stage, so the audience sits within the sound, minimising any absorption.

"The seats literally float within the space," he said. "Nothing quite like this has been done before, which is why the design won."

The acoustic planning also had to take into account challenges stemming from the location — a nearby freeway and the metro train network. The job is worth about $2 million to Marshall Day Acoustics, the sole non-European company to win a contract on the project.

It is the latest in a string of international projects recently awarded to the company. Others include an 1800-seat concert hall in China's former imperial capital, Xian, and the indoor stadiums for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Closer to home, Marshall Day Acoustics will also design the sound system and acoustics for Olympic Park's 31,000-seat soccer and rugby stadium, due for completion in 2009.
 

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All the way with PJK
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^^

Absolutely. Though I think they have to take it in turns because they surely couldn't all fit their firm gigs in Paris all at once.
 

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Proud "Pricktorian"
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I love you auslankan! Would have missed this one, but didn't read the age today!
 

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Jean Nouvel is famous for his usage of glass in unique ways, but here we don't see it. The overall design is more likened to Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind or Peter Eisenman (image.google any of those names if you don't know of their works).

The floating "banners" in the Concert Hall in the above renders must work in the same way for accoustics as the perspex rings in the Sydney Opera House's Concert Hall do.

 
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