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.
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
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
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,
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.