Upper Balcony Plan

ORCHESTRA, LOWER BALCONY PLAN \0 O 2O AO bO &O Feet 5 O IO 2 O 3 O Meters

curved transition to the ceiling yielded a highly dramatic form, which, along with three large chandeliers, added diffusion to the space. Like the other halls of this type it had a narrow balcony around its perimeter of about three rows of seating, with a large organ towering over the orchestra.

Grosser Musikvereinssaal (Fig. 1.19) in Vienna, Austria, which is still in use today, is considered one of the top three or four concert halls in the world. It was opened in 1870 and has a long (50.3 m or 185 ft) and narrow (19.8 m or 65 ft) rectangular floor plan with a high (15 m or 50 ft), heavily beamed ceiling. The seating capacity, at 1680 in wooden seats, is relatively small for so long a room.

The single narrow balcony is supported by a row of golden caryatids, much like giant Oscars, around the side of the orchestra seating. Reflections from the underside of the balcony and the statuary are particularly important in offsetting the grazing attenuation due to the audience seated on a flat floor. The high windows above the balcony provided light for afternoon concerts and reduced the bass buildup.

Historical Introduction 29 Figure 1.19 Grosser Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, Austria (Beranek, 1979)

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