Atkins’ acoustic design brings China’s first Cirque du Soleil theater to life

Atkins’ acoustic design brings China’s first Cirque du Soleil theater to life

Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, successfully provided acoustic design consultancy to the Hangzhou Suntiandy Theater, China’s first purpose-built Cirque du Soleil theatre.

Named ‘The Land of Fantasy’, the cutting-edge building is designed to blur the lines between performance, spectacle and special effects, moving theatre goers to a different realm. 

As acoustic consultant under contract to Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, the theatre and audio-video consultant for the project, Atkins applied the latest 3D modeling and measurement technology to design the room acoustics for the main theatre and minimise unwanted noise and vibration. This was done with great care and attention to detail to ensure an immersive auditory experience for every seat in the house. The team also designed the theatre’s dance studios, acrobatic rehearsal rooms and support offices. 

The 1,500 capacity audience chamber, the size of a soccer pitch, encompasses two separate seating wagons which can rotate 360 degrees and traverse a distance of 27.5 metres giving rise to two different experiences in one show package. To further enhance the possibilities of the story, the stage scenery wall is segmented into nine individual movable parts, which shift during the course of the drama.  

Kito Coutinho, Atkins’ Head of Acoustics, Noise & Vibration in Asia Pacific, said: “In contrast to traditional theater design where the stage might move, this project sees the audience areas move to create a unique and immersive experience. As such our team carefully modeled, evaluated and balanced the various stage and audience configurations before using a state-of-the-art system to measure and assess the acoustic performance of each point in 3D. This allowed us to achieve the most coherent and cohesive acoustic experience for the audience to best enjoy throughout the journey.”

The theatre opened in August 2019.

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