by Damian Doria | November 17, 2010
I vividly remember my first meeting with Carmel Mayor James Brainard back in 2000. He had come to visit us in New York and we toured him through Jazz at Lincoln Center’s new home at Columbus Circle, which was still in early stages of construction at the time. What was most memorable was the strength and clarity of his vision that Carmel’s new concert hall be acoustically superb, architecturally distinctive, and a bellwether for the Arts in Indiana. An ambitious dream for any community, but after visiting Carmel, clearly one that is in-line with the development of the community as a whole. Seeing how the City of Carmel was developing gave us at Artec enormous confidence that his vision for the concert hall would also be realized.
The Palladium (concert hall) packs a lot of acoustical flexibility into a neo-classical building. We spent a lot of time with David (Schwarz) and his team on finding a common path between his architectural vision and our acoustical and functional design concept and client requirements. A key part of that, and one that will be very obvious to all visitors, is the 4-part steel and glass canopy that can be varied in height to provide acoustic and visual support for performance groups, small or large, a level of absorptive curtains (largely stored out of view for symphony) can be quickly deployed for amplified and other high volume events. That the canopy is different from those we’ve designed elsewhere will be immediately clear to those who know our work, and is a great example of how both David’s team and Artec worked hard to find common ground. It was also important that the building be welcoming to the members of Carmel’s community as well as provide acoustical and visual intimacy previously unavailable to the many performing arts groups in and around Carmel and their audiences. We’re certain that the many great artists who perform in our halls around the world will find the same amenities and sound quality in Carmel that they’ve come to expect in our halls, and we’re excited to see that Steven (Libman) has invited such groups as The Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, The Cleveland Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and Kronos Quartet, among other internationally renowned artists this season.
Personally, I’m really excited that the Palladium will also be the new home of the Great American Songbook Archive & Museum. The Palladium’s Artistic Director, Michael Feinstein, agreed to house and display his foundation’s collection of rare and important artifacts documenting the development of music of the early 1900’s and beyond. Of course, Michael is no stranger to Artec halls, having performed in most of our halls in the US, and we’re looking forward to working with him and his staff in this new way and helping him and The Palladium make the most of their wonderful new building.