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Birmingham Symphony Hall designer Russell Johnson dies

Renowned theatre designer Russell Johnson, the man behind Birmingham's Symphony Hall, has died at the age of 83.

In 1970 Johnson founded Russell Johnson Associates - later renamed Artec - which specialised in the design and acoustics of performing-arts venues.

The firm went on to work with a host of leading architects, including Jean Nouvel, with his Culture and Congress Centre in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Other notable Johnson schemes include the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

In the UK, Johnson was best known for Birmingham's Symphony Hall, completed in 1984.

Artec worked with Percy Thomas Partnership and Renton Howard Wood Levin to create the venue, which became synonymous with conductor Simon Rattle's illustrious career.

Mhora Samuel, director of the Theatres Trust, which promotes the protection of theatres in the UK, said: 'We are very saddened to hear of his death. [Acoustic design] is a very international field and he was a seminal figure.'

by Max Thompson

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