News 14-12 (No.324)
Issued : December 25, 2014
Fondation Louis Vuitton Museum Opens in Paris
By Dr. Yasuhisa Toyota
Photo-1 Fondation Louis Vuitton Exterior
Photo-2 Interior of the auditorium
Photo-3 Curtains in use
Figure-1 Plan of the auditorium(1)
Figure-2 Plan of the auditorium(2)
Figure-3 Plan of the auditorium(3)
Figure-4 Flat Floor (hide deats)
Figure-5 Seats in use (lowered)
Figure-6 Seats in use (raised)
This past October 27, 2014 a new art museum opened in Paris. The new museum is Fondation Louis Vuitton. Located at the western edge of Paris, in a corner of the 16th arondissement’s Bois de Boulogne, the newly completed museum embodies the mcnat goals of the Louis Vuitton Foundation (established in 2006) and is where exhibitions of primarily contemporary fine art sponsored by the foundation will be displayed. Frank Gehry led the development of the musuem’s architectural design.
Among Mr. Gehry’s many architectural works, his most well-known designs for cultural facilities are the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao, Spain, 1997) and the Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, U.S., 2003). Fondation Louis Vuitton becomes Mr. Gehry’s third major cultural facility. The new museum’s exterior is wrapped in large, curved glass panels said to be inspired by a yacht’s sails in a unique and bold architectural statement that is truly Gehry-esque. It’s an exterior that may well become a new symbol of Paris and that is already creating an impact. The accompanying Photo 1 shows the exterior and Photos 2 and 3 are views of the museum’s performing arts auditorium.
The total interior floor space of the museum building measures 11,700 sq. m (125,938 sq. ft). The museum has 11 exhibition spaces of varying sizes and the performing arts auditorium for concerts and other performances.
<< Room Acoustical Design >>
Nagata Acoustics served as the acoustical consultant for the museum’s auditorium. The auditorium’s main floor is comprised of movable elements. The floor of each row of seating can be flipped 180° to expose or hide its fixed seats and each row can be raised or lowered as desired. The auditorium has a total seat count of 350 and when all the rows are flipped so that the seats are facing downward, the auditorium becomes a flat floor space.
The slope of the main floor audience seating can be set by raising or lowering individual rows. When the main floor rows are configured to the steepest possible slope, the seating continues seamlessly to the permanent balcony that is at the rear of the auditorium. In addition, the size of the main floor’s stage and its location can be configured among multiple options so that—together with the flexible audience seating configurations—the auditorium can be set up for a multiplicity of uses (Figure 1 through Figure 6 show some of these configurations.) Because the project’s programming information indicated that the auditorium will be used for many performance genres, we created an acoustical room design that can be configured as a multipurpose space, including installing deployable curtains that can be used to adjust the space’s reverberation time. The project requirements also requested room acoustics appropriate for live classical music performances without the use of any electronic sound enhancements. For this objective we focused primarily on the shape of the auditorium and the choice and placement of the materials used in the auditorium’s interior.
<< The Auditorium’s Glass Walls >>
In particular, for continuity with the building’s overall conceptual design, the interior design team wanted to use glass as the primary material for the auditorium’s walls. Glass is a challenging material from the room acoustical design perspective and became one of the key discussion topics on this project. In general, because glass generates sound reflections characterized by abundant high frequencies and extremely sharp sound, the use of glass walls in an auditorium requires a design that prevents the strong reflections generated by the glass surfaces from directly reaching the audience seating.
We negotiated with the interior design team and they agreed to limit the use of smooth and flat glass surfaces to the upper portions of the auditorium’s walls. With this placement, the strong reflections from the smooth and flat glass surfaces first reach the ceiling or other room interior surfaces that are not the audience seating. Only after being reflected off a non-glass surface do these reflections reach the audience seating. In addition, for the lower portions of the walls that generate reflections directly to the audience seating, we specified a glass surface that combines curved surfaces with a textured finish to promote the diffusion of the direct sound reflections. These acoustical design elements and modifications that we implemented to affect the sound reflections do not directly influence the quantitative acoustical characteristics—such as reverberation time—that we measure in a room. However, these design elements and modifications are important ingredients for achieving sound reverberations of fine quality.
<< Sound Reverberation Characteristic in a Multipurpose Auditorium Mostly for Classical Music >>
In its most live configuration—typically the configuration we assume will be used for classical music concerts—with the sound reverberation curtains stored away, the auditorium’s sound reverberation time measures 1.2 seconds (at 500 Hz with the hall empty). When the hall is set up in its most dead configuration—such as when a sound system is added to amplify popular music performances, etc.—with the curtains fully deployed, the reverberation time measures 0.7 seconds (at 500 Hz, with the hall empty).
During the project’s construction phase, a representative of the Louis Vuitton organization responsible for the museum auditorium’s operations informed us that the primary genre of the hall’s performances will be classical music. Together with the project’s programming parameters of a multipurpose hall, our room acoustical design would be expected to deliver high quality acoustics for classical music performances.
In fact, for the acoustical testing we conducted at the completion of the auditorium’s construction, we brought together classical musicians of various instruments, including pianists, violinists, cellists, a quartet, clarinetists and a soprano. Unequivocally, each of the musicians praised the auditorium’s acoustics.
If we consider just the auditorium’s sound reverberation time, it suits a multipurpose hall and would seem to be somewhat short for classical music performances. During the acoustical tests by classical music performers, however, we heard not even one comment of concern about the reverberation time. We did receive many positive comments about the quality of the sound reverberations.
In my opinion, there is a connection between our attention to creating acoustical solutions for the use of glass walls and the auditorium’s excellent acoustics. When the museum opened on October 28, 2014, the opening concert featured pianist Lang Lang. He delighted the audience with his performance in the fully-occupied auditorium.
The 50th Annual “Inter BEE 2014” (The International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition)
By Makoto Ino
Booths in the Professional Audio Area
In this article I will report on the 2014 International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (Inter BEE 2014) held from November 19 to 21, 2014 at Makuhari Messe, a venue close to Tokyo in Chiba Prefecture. This year, the event—which is the largest broadcast equipment show held in Japan—marked its 50th anniversary. The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) sponsors the annual Inter BEE in cooperation with the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association (JBA) and the Japan Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB).
<< Overview of the Exhibition >>
Exhibit booths filled 6 of Makuhari Messe’s 8 exhibition halls, covering a large, 110 m x 360 m (361 ft x 1176 ft) area. At the adjacent conference center, attendees could also join numerous broadcasting-related techinical forums and sessions, symposia and seminars, all planned by the Japan Electronics Show Association (JESA).
In the exhibition halls the organizers arranged the booths according to one of the four following categories: Video and Broadcasting Equipment; Professional Audio; Professional Lighting; and ICT Cross Media (Software and Content). The largest booths spread across widths of as much as 40 m. (131 ft), while the most modest booths were squares that measured 2 m. (7 ft) on each side. In total, about 460 registered exhibitors set up booths at the event.
<< Highlights of the Professional Audio Exhibits >>
Yamaha RIVAGE PM10
Two decades ago, the Professional Audio area of this annual event filled 3 of Makuhari Messe’s halls. Now, however, while this category’s exhibitors still numbered more than 90, most of their booths were medium or small in size. Unfortunately, this category no longer filled even one hall.
Among the Professional Audio exhibits, 2 Japanese manufacturers went “head to head” with the release of their main new products, each unveiling its newest digital mixing console. Yamaha unveiled its RIVAGE PM10, a revamped version of the flagship PM1D mixer it launched in 2001. Rival Roland unveiled its new generation OHRCA M-5000 live mixing console. Two key features of both mixers are: (1) they operate at a 96 kHz sampling rate; and, (2) they use TWINLAENe (Yamaha), Dante/MADI or REAC (Roland) technologies to freely define multichannel audio transfer.
Both of these mixers can be used flexibly to build either a large or small system with a sound network environment that meets the needs and circumstances of specific sites and implementations. Both models were clearly designed to make things easier for the console operator. Because any sound network has its pluses and minuses, the flexibility to choose among networks for specific configurations is a valuable feature.
These two mixers will be put through operational tests in Japan and elsewhere, then surely tweaked with some improvements and installed in venues around the world. I look forward to experiencing both of them in use.
<< 50th Anniversary Event >>
50th Anniversary Event
This year’s Inter BEE also featured a two-part 50th anniversary event in Makuhari Messe Event Hall, a large, arena-shaped hall with a 90 m. (295 ft) diameter. The event hall is located adjacent to the exhibition halls. Part 1 of the anniversary event was a line array loudspeaker demo and presentation with the title “A Demo of Feeling, Excitement and Discovery”. Part 2 was the 50th Anniversary Live Party.
The set up of the line array loudspeaker demonstration suspended the speakers in mid-air. This is how these speakers are installed in venues, but it was the first time I saw a comparison demonstration in Japan set up the temporary installation this way. The demonstrated models included 6 models of 3-way speakers, all with 10 in. or larger woofers, and 3 models of 2-way speakers with 8 in. or larger woofers. All of the models had free standing sub-woofers.
For the demonstration, each presenting manufacturer was allotted 30 minutes to introduce the company’s product and let attendees listen to speech and music reproduced by the model being demonstrated. The speech source was CDs and the music source was both CDs and a live band. Makuhari Messe Event Hall has a 30 m. (98 Ft)-high ceiling and—unlike amplified sound in a theatre or concert hall—the sound from the demonstrated speakers in the arena was characterized by an open feeling.
Despite the decreasing prescence of professional audio booths at Inter BEE 2014, the anniversary demonstration event highlighted this category. I’m glad that I attended the exhibition and the anniversary event.
Nagata Acoustics Inc.
Hongo Segawa Bldg. 3F, 2-35-10 Hongo
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Tel: +81-3-5800-2671, Fax: +81-3-5800-2672
2130 Sawtelle Blvd., Suite 308
Los Angeles, CA 90025, U.S.A.
Tel: +1-310-231-7878, Fax: +1-310-231-7816
75, avenue Parmentier
75011 Paris, France
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 21 44 25, Fax: +33 (0)1 40 21 24 00