In Turku, Finland, the flexible Logomo Hall can adapt to whatever size or shape most suitable for the event of the evening. On one night it can provide a compact 1,100-seat square space ideal for a chamber orchestra or jazz ensemble. Within a few hours, it can be transformed into an elongated rectangle accommodating 3,500 for a rock concert. While with the push of a button, its permanently installed Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system instantly optimizes acoustical response for both the current room configuration and the event at hand, whether a concert, conference, play, film or opera.
STORY BY Dewald Haynes photos by Jussi Tiainen
The Principal architect for this versatile project was Finnish born and Turku-based architect Pekka Vapaavuori. As part of a refurbished industrial complex, that was originally built for railway maintenance, the hall shares its particular space with a pre-function lobby and offices, the extraordinary physical versatility is inside made possible by a massive seating stand that glides back and forth on compressed air cushions.
One space shrinks while the other enlarges to form three hall sizes, while the stage also offers three different configurations. As expected with industrial buildings in Finland, the original complex was built in several stages, the oldest parts in the 1890s and the newest in the 1970s. The design conversion of this historical building into a public convention center started in 2009 and the construction, which is still ongoing, was completed in several stages. The site is an old industrial site by the railroad yard which is still in use and the city’s plan for the site has not yet been enforced. “The most challenging task of this whole process has been planning the complex in stages while not even completely knowing all the end users, as the brief changed slightly mid-flight,” Vapaavuori explains.
There were also several systems that were introduced very late in the process. To name one: The Meyer Sound D-Mitri digital audio platform, which is a state of the art sound system to alter the acoustical properties of the room. This addition meant that 76 microphones and 223 self-powered loudspeakers and 12 compact subwoofers had to be accommodated inside the walls and ceiling and needed to be accounted for on the blueprints at the very last minute. The constellation allows for nine individualized hall/stage sound adjustments, each with a full array of acoustical environments as defined by reverberation time, early decay time, strength, clarity, and bass ratio.