Home to the internationally acclaimed Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Roy Thomson Hall first opened its doors in 1982. Designed by architect Arthur Erickson, it is considered by many to be a cultural and architectural icon in the heart of Toronto's entertainment district.
Inherent shortcomings in the auditorium's natural acoustics prompted the development of an Enhancement Program by KPMB that set out to transform the existing venue into a world calibre concert hall and multi-purpose facility. This involved the reconfiguration of the upper reaches of the auditorium to create a more rectilinear sound chamber, and the installation of an adjustable acoustical canopy to allow the hall's volume and sound distribution to be optimized for each performance. Other changes included the addition of retractable sound absorbent banners for use during amplified performances, a new, more resonant stage floor, and surround walls at the stage that enhance the acoustic environment for performers.
The revitalized material palette is one of warmth and theatricality that, through its introduction of light hardwood, both balances and strikes a resonant chord with the cooler aesthetic of the original architecture. The incorporation of new centre aisles, parterre seating, and private boxes on the orchestra level, increases the level of intimacy, comfort and accessibility for patrons.
60 Simcoe Street, Toronto, Ontario
The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall
Transformation of the stage and auditorium chamber (60,000 s.f.) to create a room with great natural acoustics
Thomas Payne (partner-in-charge), Christopher Couse (senior associate), David Jesson (associate), Mark Jaffar, John Agnidis, Athos Zaghi, Rob Kastelic, Franziska Cape, Simon Haus, Shadi Rahbaran, Brian Urbanik, Graham Ferrier, Chris Lyle, Denis DiFilippo, Karen Petrachenko (interior designer), Carolyn Lee
Artec Consultants Inc. (acoustics and noise control), Carruthers and Wallace Limited (structural), The Mitchell Partnership Inc. (mechanical), Mulvey and Banani International Inc. (electrical)
- 2003 Canadian Interiors Best of Canada, Project Winner
- 2003 IESNA International Illumination Design Award, Lighting Design Award of Merit
- 2002 GE Edison Award for Exceptional Lighting, Award of Merit
Ourtopias: cities and the role of design