Roy Thomson Hall

Roy Thomson Hall’s architectural and monumental distinction is its drum shaped enclosure, a glass canopy that houses the interior lobby and serves as a double encasing for the main auditorium. The lobby is housed between the glass canopy and the main auditorium, where the curtain wall can be experienced from the inside.

The interior of the auditorium consists of three main seating levels, designed in a semi-surround configuration. A total of 2600 seats for guests and 113 in the choir lift are encompassed in 24 500 meters squared, with the farthest seat away being only 38.7 meters away from the stage. This along with the warn Canadian maple finish gives the auditorium an intimate feel. The hall is acoustically controlled by adjustable wooden canopies that hang over the stage and audience area, distributing sound in accordance to the specific concert being played.

Outside, the building is forwarded by a rectangular circulation space that extends to meet guests coming from St. Andrews station and Metro Hall. These hallways encircle a man-made pond, complete with trees and rocks, where the space would have been otherwise unused.

Roy Thomson Hall responds to its site by taking advantage of the 2.4 acre clearing in the middle of the city. Compared to the high rises around it, it seems small in height in proportion to its surroundings. However, it makes up for it in the character and girth of its shape, re-gaining its significance in the urban landscape. It is situated beside a park that foils its dramatic shape, in front of large high rises that serve as a backdrop to its main view, and it addresses the historical St. Andrews church on its east side by not blocking its view.

Poured in place concrete is the structural base of the design, followed by a steel supported glass canopy. The structure of the curtain wall canopy is simple in concept. Large rounded steel beams make up the drum like shape, and hold up the glass with mullions. They are braced in the X and Y directions, as well as diagonally, giving the canopy its diamond like appearance.

The composition is a culmination of concrete, glass and steel that work to emphasize each others structural and material qualities. The building is as aesthetically diverse as the performances it emanates from within.

Beranek, Leo. Concert Halls and Opera Houses. New York: Springer. 2004.

Rose, Alison. “ – Seen and Heard.” – Comprehensive Site for Architects, Specification Writers and Designers. Web. 15 Oct. 2010. <;.

Erickson, Arthur. “Roy Thomson Hall.” Arthur Erickson. Web. 01 Oct. 2010. <http://>.

Wardrop, Patricia. “Roy Thomson Hall.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Web. 01 Oct. 2010. <;.



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