Sibelius Hall in Lahti, Finland

The Sibelius Hall (Finnish: Sibeliustalo) is a concert hall in Lahti, Finland, named after the composer Jean Sibelius. The concert hall was completed in 2000. Architects Kimmo Lintula and Hannu Tikka designed the hall, which is made of wood. The acoustics were engineered by Artec Consultants, New York. Its acoustics are one of its strongest points, while the architecture follows the Scandinavian tradition of sophisticated design. The concert hall has a capacity of 1,250 seats.

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Sibelius Hall

Sibelius Hall is acoustically most advanced concert hall I’ve aver seen. The Main Hall is an acoustic miracle. The auditorium seating and stage are situated in an oval-shaped ‘shoe-box’ hall. Flexibility in acoustics is achieved with a canopy, which can be raised and lowered above the stage, and via the echo chamber along the side walls, with 188 acoustic doors and woollen acoustic banners (2.7 km). The corrugated walls of the hall scatter reflecting sounds.

A glass façade covers the massive wall elements, with sandwich-structured laminated veneer lumber panels, filled with sand (18 cm thick insulation) and mineral wool. All of the Main Hall’s load bearing structures are made of glulam timber.

The echo chambers at the sides of the hall are part of the hall’s acoustic design. The height of the room corresponds to that of an eight-story building. The massive glulam structures that support the inclined outside wall are clearly visible. The acoustic external wall elements comprise 69- and 51-millimeter-thick LVL sheets that sandwich a 180 mm layer of dried sand, a layer of mineral wool, and Wisa Facade veneer. The structure both creates a massive appearance and improves insulation of high frequencies. The space between the glass facade and the wall element improves sound insulation.

The computer-assisted acoustic doors open to the echo chambers equipped with acoustic ‘curtains’ or banners that can be electrically raised and lowered. Entrance to seats in the stalls is via the echo chambers.

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