Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts

Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts

Diamond Schmitt Architects
145 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada
Project Year
Cultural Centres


Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts, Toronto

Sound Space Vision as Acoustics Consultant

Sound Space Design is proud to have been the acoustics consultant on the Four Seasons Centre. The success of the hall is testament to the commitment and experience that the entire acoustics team poured into the project. We have created an opera acoustic especially for the Canadian Opera Company, translating subjective goals into architectural specifics in collaboration with the design team.

SSD proposed, discussed and agreed the goals outlined here with the COC and design team, as we began to get up to speed on the project. By communicating in musical and architectural terms we achieve understanding and agreement on the musical, acoustical and architectural goals. We agreed that there should be no audible background noise, in order to allow the high drama of silence and the quietest pianissimo; and the sound should be strong to assist the singers of the COC to fill the hall with a fortissimo. Good singers will be able to sing extremely quietly and still carry emotion to the last row.

In opera, clarity of text and natural vocal tone are important, but so are warmth and resonance of the orchestral sound. Singers should be able to “float” their voices, feeling the room as an instrument, while the orchestra musicians in the pit should be able to hear each other well so they can play together in tight ensemble. All in all, there is to be a high degree of intimacy and envelopment in the sound to allow the artists to communicate their artistic intent and to draw the audience into their world.

Ground-borne vibration from adjacent subway and street cars would have been transmitted through the ground, through the foundations and into the building. The auditorium, stage and rehearsal hall are isolated from ground-borne vibration of the adjacent subway and street cars on high-performance rubber pads.

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