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Working Detail: Wexford Opera House by Office of Public Works Architects and Keith Williams Architects

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[WORKING DETAIL 16.10.08] Sound diffuser

This is a detail of the technical area that sits in front of the proscenium, above the orchestra pit, from which the company can suspend lights and props. The assembly needs to satisfy complex theatrical, acoustic and architectural criteria.

It is split into three physical elements. First, as part of the structural frame, the suspended steel grid structure is designed to carry high loads that can be safely suspended from the roof and moved up and down on pulleys.

Second, a solid, horizontal plate with appropriate acoustic mass and diffusive properties directs sound back down to the stage. Finally, an acoustically transparent veil, formed of metal-faced slats, conceals the grid structure and provides a visual step down to the proscenium opening when viewed by the audience.

Richard Brown, Keith Williams Architects

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