Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Orange County, California
Segerstrom Hall is a stunning and acoustically pioneering 3,000 seat venue. It is one of several performance spaces belonging to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, California.
The hall was designed for a variety of musical styles including symphony, musical theatre, chamber music and opera. The acoustic design was a collaboration between Marshall Day Acoustics, Jerald R. Hyde and Paoletti Lewitz Associates, with Harold Marshall remarking that:
Photos courtesy of RMA Architectural Photographers
Room Acoustic Design
The design team strove to develop a truly multipurpose hall.
The acoustic design was constrained by a necessity that sight lines must be excellent from every seat. For a hall of this scale a fan-shape was well suited to achieving excellent sight lines, however broad fan-shaped halls are notoriously bad for symphony music because they lack adequate laterally reflected sound in the majority of seats.
Harold Marshall's innovation was to divide the stalls seating obliquely to provide lateral reflecting surfaces within the space, with comparable surfaces for each of the upper levels. The result was a striking asymmetrical space entirely without precedent.
Scale Model Testing
The hall was modelled in New Zealand at a scale of 1:10 and tested at 25 seat locations in all of its modes - symphony, musical theatre, chamber music and opera.
The scale modelling helped confirm the general suitability of the hall's form and allowed for more subtle refinements of the acoustic design.
"Segerstrom hall still receives wonderful reviews and visitors continue to be impressed with its acoustics and design. Casts of the touring companies of Broadway shows, especially, love performing here - it is a compliment we receive with every engagement."