Sir Harold Marshall

Sir Harold Marshall Founder

Sir Harold Marshall, the joint founder of Marshall Day Acoustics with Chris Day, is Group Consultant, specialising in theatre and concert hall design. He is an architect, engineer and physicist who is recognised internationally for his contribution to concert hall design. Formerly Professor of Architecture in the University of Auckland and Head of the Acoustics Research Centre, Dr Marshall has over 45 years experience in the acoustical design of auditoria and concert halls. His work is widely cited in technical literature and his interest in these fields has been sharpened by his active involvement in musical performance both as a chorister and as a bass-baritone. The composer with whom he feels the greatest affinity is J S Bach.

His major discoveries were:

  • The particular importance of lateral reflected sound and of the architectural means to achieve this in concert halls
  • The necessary and sufficient conditions for excellent ensemble for both instrumental groups and singers
  • Discussion of acoustical and architectural relationships in the design process

Sir Harold's present role in Marshall Day Acoustics is Group Consultant, leading the conceptual design of concert halls and similar commissions as required by any of the eight practice offices. This is a role for which his architectural and musical skills have uniquely equipped him to communicate with architects and their clients.

In 1994 Harold was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He also holds Fellowships in the Acoustical Society of America, the Acoustical Society of New Zealand and the NZ Institute of Architects.

In 1995 Dr Marshall was awarded the Wallace Clement Sabine Medal by the Acoustical Society of America for his contributions to the field of architectural acoustics, particularly for the understanding and design of concert halls, in 2006 received the Gold Medal of the Acoustical Foundation of India and in 2013 the top technology award of the Royal Society of NZ - the Pickering Medal.

In 2008, Emeritus Professor Marshall was made a Distinguished Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit for services to acoustical science and in 2009 accepted the title Knight Companion of the Order, KNZM.

Sir Harold enjoys choral singing, gardening and both freshwater and sea fishing. He is also a published poet.

Qualifications & Memberships

  • B Arch (Hons), University of New Zealand (1956)
  • B Sc, University of Auckland (1956)
  • Ph D, University of Southampton (1967)
  • Royal Society of New Zealand (Fellow) FRSNZ
  • Royal Australian Institute of Architects (Fellow) FRAIA
  • New Zealand Institute of Architects (Fellow) FNZIA
  • Acoustical Society of America (Fellow) FASA
  • New Zealand Acoustical Society (Fellow) FNZAS
  • Associate of American Institute of Physics (Associate) MAIP
  • Past President of New Zealand Acoustical Society
  • Life Member of New Zealand Acoustical Society
  • Life Member of National Council of Acoustical Consultants (USA)

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