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November 6, 2003 / E-Newsletter

Ceremony in Budapest


Ceremony in Budapest














House of Music







The new National Concert Hall in Budapest, designed by Zoboki Demeter Architects and Artec Consultants Inc, was the center of attention on October 7th, 2003, as hundreds of VIPs and journalists gathered for the topping out ceremony, which marked the completion of most of the structural work for this new performing arts center on the banks of the Danube River.

The 1800-seat Concert Hall is the centerpiece of an imposing new building, flanked by a 450-seat theatre and a museum, and is expected to be the performing home of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, and the other principal symphony orchestras of Budapest, and will also host recitals and performances by international touring artists.

The entire facility was hailed as an example of Public-Private Partnership, as it is being built on the basis of a long term agreement between the TriGranit Development Corporation and the Hungarian Government. The concert hall is scheduled to open in late 2004.

Artec Consultants Inc is providing comprehensive acoustics, theatre planning, theatre consulting and sound & communication systems design services. Wilson Ihrig Associates provided isolation consulting services on railbed and groundborne vibration as part of Artec's team.

The National Concert Hall features adjustable acoustics elements, as found in the Artec sister halls in Birmingham, Dallas, Singapore and Verizon Hall in Philadelphia. These include a large motorized sound reflector system above the orchestra platform, and acoustics control chambers, as well as motorized curtains and banners to provide adjustable sound absorption. All of these elements work together with the basic geometry of the auditorium to allow for the acoustics to be adjusted for major differences in the size of the ensemble on stage and the style of the work.

The National Concert Hall is part of a larger development, known as the Millenium Centre adjacent to the historic city center. When completed, this area will include hotels and restaurants and conference facilities alongside the performing arts facilities. The TriGranit Development Corporation, which is developing the area, is well known in Budapest for the West End shopping and business complex next to the Nyugati Railway station.


Artec has been selected as Acoustics Consultants and Sound & Communication Systems Consultants for the North Jutland House of Music Project in Aalborg, Denmark. Artec is very privileged to be working with architects, Coop Himmelb(l)au Architekten, Wolf Prix and Helmut Swiczinsky, partners.

This exciting project brings together four principal user groups, the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of Music, as well as the Department of Music and Music Therapy, and Department of Architecture and Design of Aalborg University. The facility will include a 1200-seat concert hall, a multi-purpose black-box theatre, a recital hall and two other smaller performance venues, as well as extensive educational facilities.


Artec has been engaged to provide acoustics, theatre planning, theatre equipment and sound, communication and audio-visual systems design consulting for the new Fine Arts Department buildings at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Artec Consultants Inc has been engaged along with the Zeidler Partnership (in a joint-venture with Bregman + Haman Architects, Toronto) to design this exciting new multi-faceted mixed-use facility with two principal performance venues, a recital hall and a proscenium theatre. Artec and the Zeidler Partnership have worked together on many performing arts venues in Canada and in the United States. Artec is also pleased to be working once again with PCL (general contractor/construction manager).

Aside from the recital hall and proscenium theatre, there will be dance facilities including a dance studio that will be used as a third public performance venue for 100 people, acting studios, choreography studios, as well as computer-aided composition and editing rooms. There will also be a fully equipped digital recording studio that will be connected to all of the larger rehearsal and performance spaces, including the principal performance venues. Additionally, there will be screening rooms of various sizes ranging from 80 to 500 seats for the film and video department. The facility will also have rehearsal spaces each dedicated to orchestra, choir, percussion and world music respectively, as well as a series of practice studios that will be used for teaching and rehearsals.


Artec is pleased to announce that Eric Seifert has recently rejoined Artec Consultants Inc as Director of Acoustics and Principal Consultant. Eric returns to Artec bringing to the team his considerable skills in performance venue design and acoustics consulting, project management, and administration.

Eric Seifert began his consulting career with Artec Consultants Inc in 1989, working on initial acoustics designs for the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Toronto Ballet Opera House. As a Senior Consultant at Artec, Mr. Seifert was responsible for day-to-day acoustics aspects of such highly prestigious and successful projects as the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver, Canada; the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Toronto, Canada; Gwinnett Civic & Cultural Center; Benson Great Hall at Bethel College, Minneapolis; the Phase I renovation of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, UK; and the Concert and Congress Center, in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Eric joined the firm of Acoustic Dimensions Inc. in 1994, and became a Principal Consultant there in 1997. In addition to his administrative duties, he served as the acoustics designer for Walt Disney Imagineering for all public spaces on the Disney Magic and Wonder, Disney's ships that form the basis for their new cruise line. These spaces include a 1,000-seat performance theater, a 270-seat cinema, and various themed performance and dining spaces. Eric continued working with Disney Cruise Line to oversee all the acoustics related aspects during construction of both ships, which were inaugurated in 1998 and 1999, respectively. Eric also led acoustical design projects as diverse as the AT&T athlete's pavilion at the Atlanta Olympics; Universal Studios CityWalk, a multi-venue entertainment and themed dining complex in Orlando, Florida; the new Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, in Springfield, MA; and a 2000-seat performance theater for Hard Rock Café, in Orlando, FL.

During his tenure at Acoustic Dimensions, Eric also worked closely on auditorium design, acoustics, and integration of performance technologies for many of the largest ministries on the country, including Prestonwood Baptist Church, and Potters House Ministries, both in Dallas, TX. He served as project manager for acoustics, choir riser design, staging coordination, performance lighting, and audiovisual services for the renovation of a 4,000-seat theatre, originally built in 1927, for the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church in Brooklyn, New York. This church is home to the multiple Grammy award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

Eric graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering Physics, and is a member of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT), and is an Allied Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Eric is currently working with the Artec team on the renovation of Salle Pleyel, Paris, the Accolade Project at York University, and is project manager for the North Jutland House of Music, Aalborg, Denmark. In addition to his consulting duties, Eric joins Russell Johnson, Damian Doria, and Tateo Nakajima in managing the Artec operation and in developing strategic directions for the firm.


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