Post-Opening Work at Esplanade Concert Hall
by Tateo Nakajima | partner | November 15, 2010
There is nothing quite so satisfying as hearing a musician ask if they can take a hall home with them. I’ve had the privilege of overhearing such comments about a number of our halls around the world, and one such time was a very memorable visit by the London Symphony Orchestra to the Esplanade Concert Hall.
My work on this great project effectively started at the end of construction, as we started the post-opening period of service that is a standard part of our work. We do a lot of key work in this time, working with the artists alongside the administration, the technical and artistic staff of our facilities. That we put as much emphasis as we do on this period of work has its genesis in the fact that we believe in designing facilities that incorporate (to different degrees depending on each individual project) seating/stage geometry and acoustic adjustability in order to maximize the range of usage. At the same time, we are known for the quality of artist and audience experience within our facilities, and this means establishing the right configuration of adjustable features for each type of performance.
I see our post-opening work at Esplanade as particularly successful also for the efficiency of the process – shaped, in this case, especially by a need to minimize the number of trips to Singapore during the 15 month intensive period it lasted – but also by the effectiveness of the solutions we found. Our goal is always to find a simple framework for operators to use the systems and in this particular case, the system was particularly easy – without losing any of the responsiveness artists look for. We were also particularly successful in passing on the necessary expertise to the artistic planning staff who take primary responsibility for the settings, and enjoy a continuing discourse with them as they work with the artists who come through the hall on an ongoing basis.
I always look forward to every chance I get to go back to performances in these great halls, but in the meantime, I rest assured that they’re in good hands when I continually hear such glowing reports from artists who have visited.