Four Seasons Centre

As the home of the Canadian Opera Company, the Four Season’s Centre for Performing Arts modestly highlights the importance of opera through its advanced acoustic technology. The ‘horseshoe auditorium’ is a pod within the exterior shell of the building, and is structurally isolated to prevent sound penetration. The auditorium rests on massive reinforced concrete beams spanning at the same level as the orchestra pit. Underneath the beams are rubber pads which absorb shock, vibrations and sound waves, ultimately soundproofing the space from any interruptions caused by the subway line. Other less structural considerations are the undulating back-walls of the venue, which diffuse the sound throughout the auditorium by reflecting the sound waves back to the stage, accounting for about 90 percent of the audible sound for the audience. Textured stucco walls, wooden floors, and padded seats are also used to optimize the acoustics.

While the interior resembles a highly sophisticated, and entirely functional space, the exterior façade acts as a lantern of light, elegantly emphasizing the structurally advanced glass staircase. This is due to the monumental plate-glass rectangular panels running along the north and west façades of the building. The transparency of the glass, however, contrasts the running bond arrangement of the black brick that defines the space.

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