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June 2009 / News


New Montréal Concert Hall design unveiled

Quebec's Minister of Culture announced on May 28 that the construction of a new concert hall at Place des Arts for the Montréal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) will begin this summer. Premier Jean Charest, MSO music director / conductor Kent Nagano, Culture Minister Christine St. Pierre and other dignitaries together unveiled the new concert hall's design at a press conference held at the Place des Arts in Montréal.

Kent Nagano, MSO music director, said Montréal deserves a state of the art facility comparable to the top concert halls in the world. Nagano added he believes the long-awaited hall will attract music lovers from around the globe.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, where the MSO has performed since 1963, is often criticized as being overly large and not meeting contemporary standards for symphony acoustics. The new 2,100-seat concert hall, temporarily named La Maison Symphonique de Montréal, is envisioned as a state-of-the-art facility and conceived to rival those in New York, London, Vienna and Paris.

renderings of future concert hall for Montreal Symphony Orchestra
future concert hall for Montréal Symphony Orchestra / renderings courtesy of Québec government / Diamond+Schmitt Architects

Achieving a state-of-the-art performing arts facility depends greatly on finding the appropriate balance between acoustics, theatre planning, sightlines, audience comfort, technical and organizational functionality that is necessary to accommodate the sheer complexity of a symphony orchestra. These aspects must themselves be in optimal balance with the architectural quality for the facility to be considered successful. With that in mind the Quebec government hired Artec to provide basic design and theatre planning for the entire facility before other members of the design team were selected and to prepare technical documents for the design team selection process. Artec will continue to work on the project throughout completion, the opening gala and the entire first season to ensure that the highest quality standard that Artec set forth is applied and functioning properly.

Artec provides Design and Planning services covering Auditorium Design, Facility Planning, Specialized Performance Equipment Systems Design including Sound & Communication Systems and Noise & Vibration Control.

SNC-Lavalin won the contract to design, construct, finance and operate the new concert hall. Toronto based Diamond + Schmitt is the Architect .

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