1st Edition

Acoustics of Multi-Use Performing Arts Centers

By Mark Holden Copyright 2016
    400 Pages
    by CRC Press

    400 Pages 41 Color & 205 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Explores the Science and Practice Of Acoustics for Arts Centers

    Employing the experiences of a world-renowned acoustician celebrated for the successful design of multi-use performing arts centers, Acoustics of Multi-Use Performing Arts Centers examines the complexities of this venue and discusses the challenges and solutions that arise in the concept, design, construction and commissioning phases.

    This book addresses the various programming needs of a multi-use performing arts center (needs that can range from symphony, opera and ballet to highly-amplified concerts and Broadway productions) and provides instruction from the planning of the initial concept to the final tuning stages.

    While assuming a basic understanding of the principals of sound, construction and performance, the author includes architectural drawings drawn to scale and presents case studies with in-depth discussion of undocumented halls. He also provides a full chapter on tuning multi-use halls and offers an inside look at design options for adjustable acoustics that include stage, pit and hall design.

    In addition, the book:

    • Covers the fundamentals of acoustics as it relates to initial stages of multi-use hall design

    • Explores the concepts of acoustics in terms of new and renovated spaces

    • Defines the basic components of the building structure

    • Examines floors, walls, ceilings, shells, and finishes and how they can be designed to achieve acoustic excellence

    • Discusses how to use and tune adjustable acoustic systems in a multi-use hall in order to achieve acoustic excellence

    Designed as a step-by-step guide to achieving outstanding acoustics in multi-use performance spaces, Acoustics of Multi-Use Performing Arts Centers serves students, architects, engineers, desig

    BUILDING BLOCKS. Making the Case for a Multi-Use Hall. The Building Block of Reverberation. Requirements for Excellent Acoustics. Creating the Acoustic Program. CREATING THE BUILDING. Translating Program into Bricks and Mortar. Myths and New Halls: Schematic Design through Construction Documents. Myths and Renovations: Transforming Existing Buildings into Multi-Use Halls. Running the Acoustic Model. ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS. Orchestra Pit. Acoustic Design of the Stage. Orchestra Seating, Balconies, Boxes, and Parterres. Wall Shaping. Ceiling Designs. Seats and Finishes. MEASURING RESULTS. Making It Multi-Use. Electronic Architecture Systems. Tuning the Hall. CASE STUDIES. Glossary. Appendices.


    Mark Holden earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering at Duke University in 1978. During his time there, he participated in an acoustic study of Duke’s student union as part of a physics course. This experience came full circle when he worked on the renovation of Duke’s Baldwin Hall (explored as a case study within this text). He has lectured at Harvard’s School of Design, Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, is a member of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants, the United States Institute of Theater Technology (USITT), and an elected fellow of the Acoustical Society of America.

    "The consulting profession should openly welcome Holden’s text as a significant step toward establishing “standard best practice.” It is well-recommended resource for anyone knee-deep in design, whether a student working on a design competition, or a professional chasing the next big project."
    Brandon Cudequest in Journal of the Audio Engineering Society

    "Finally, institutions and arts leaders have a time-tested, transparent resource which can guide them through the turbulent, mysterious waters of performance hall design and construction. This brilliant book should be in the hands of anyone invested in the successful creation of a useful, sustainable, high quality venue."
    David Finckel, Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York, USA

    "… a no-nonsense book written by an old salt of a practitioner. It is pedagogical and lays out the basic physical principles in an understandable way for [a] non-acoustician, for design team members and end users alike. It offers a step by step description of various areas of interest and I have especially enjoyed the idea of "myths" and the way they are deconstructed. … I am sure this book will be a welcome addition to both student and professional libraries as well as to whoever can be interested in the matter of multi-purpose halls."
    —Marc Asselineau, Peutz & Associates, France

    "The book is focused on multi-purpose auditoria and is passionate in how to design the building so that the audience and orchestra enjoy the performance. Practical examples abound, with emphasis on architectural design solutions..."
    —Stephen Dance, London South Bank University, UK

    "If you work in, design or operate systems for multipurpose venues, this might be just the book you are looking for if you want to understand a little more about those pesky acoustics that often come to plague us."
    — Peter Mapp, Sound & Communicati