Schreyer Award 2007

The design of The Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre ushered in two significant innovations for acoustical analysis. It saw the first application of our Renaissance acoustic modelling software. To judge accurate renderings of a scale model, sound is required - numbers were not enough. The ability to “listen” to how the ceiling affected the sound proved critical. It was a classic example of how emerging technology comes to the aid of the arts.

The cornerstone of good acoustics is a quiet background noise level. Musicians and actors need a quiet room in the same way that a painter needs a clean canvas. The Esplanade, uses a displacement system to ventilate the room. These systems have become quite popular of late. Prior to our work on The Esplanade, however, there was no recognised method of predicting or measuring the acoustical performance of such a system. Now there is.

Musicians learn and perform better in a room with good acoustics. Thus forms a community. Invariably the catalyst for this artistic splendour comes from the building. Medicine Hat now has that building.
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© Michael Lechman
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1:20 Scale Model Studies
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© Tim Griffin
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© Michael Lechman

Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.
Acoustician of Record: Aercoustics
Principal Acoustician: John O'Keefe