SIP Urban Redevelopment Co. Project Manager, Weiqin Chi:
“The Jinji Lake Concert Hall is a very specific construction project. As a multi-functional concert hall, the space has to have a well-engineered acoustical system while aiming after architectural beauty. This construction is a ‘house within a house’ structure. In other words, an independent structure is built in an existing space located on the 2nd floor of the Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre. Every element in this construction, like the walls, soffits, floors, stage, equipment, even the audience seats, has undergone the most precise and strict acoustical test. The sound insulation has reached a level of near perfection; hardly any noise from outside, except for an occasional siren or helicopter, can be perceived inside.”
Tailor-made for the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra
Located in the same structure as the Jinji Lake Concert Hall is the home base of the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, providing the office space for the orchestra’s management, rehearsal spaces and recording studio. Every facility designed for music-making is customized with specific acoustical characteristic and architectural details.
Weiqin Chi: “The ceiling and walls of every rehearsal and practice room are slanted at angles that are specified according to acoustical calculations. For example, in this rehearsal room for the brass, the ceiling is slanted at 5 degrees, southeast corner of the wall at 89 degrees while the northeast corner of the same wall at 86.”
“Architects and designers always consider the functional needs of the space first, before examining the actual design. The main purpose of the Jinji Lake Concert Hall is to serve as a home base for the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, so it has to fulfill the function both as a proper rehearsal space and as a chamber performance venue. So in this limited area, the first and foremost goal of the acoustic design is to satisfy all the needs that such a venue requires. In this case, ‘being small’ can become an advantage for the Jinji Lake Concert Hall because it draws the audience into the focal point of this hall’s ultimate purpose. This ‘surround-style’ seating of the audience around the performance area is akin to a gathering of family and friends, which not only creates an immediacy between the performer and the public, but also stimulate the desire for interpersonal communication.”