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Yasuhisa Toyota of Negate Acoustics is regarded as the greatest exponent of the modern vineyard style design. He has worked frequently with Frank Gehry on his concert halls.

Toyota was the acoustician behind the Suntory Hall – the hall most admired to play in by performing musicians, and described by conductor Herbert von Karajan as "a jewel box of sound”, and also the extraordinary Kitara Hall in Sapporo that Sir Simon Rattle visited with the CBSO in 1998, and left the comment “The best modern concert hall in the world!!” Toyota has designed the acoustic of nearly 50 halls around the world including the Frank Gehry Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, his smaller New World Symphony Hall in Miami, and his Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin. Toyota recent halls include the much praised Elbphilharmonia in Hamburg, also of vineyard design as Wimbledon will be.


Vineyard or Shoebox?

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Golden Hall at the Musikverein in Vienna


The traditional simple concert hall style, a long rectangular room, is typified by the fine acoustic of the Golden Hall at the Musikverein in Vienna. 

The simple arrangement has the orchestra at one end and the audience facing them in seried ranks of straight parallel seating. The ‘shoebox’ double cube shape and volume of the best traditional halls has the direct sound mixing with the reflected sound producing an admired orchestral acoustic.

But a ground-breaking design for the Berliner Philharmonie Hall in the early 60s pioneered a new ‘Vineyard’ arrangement, with the orchestra more centrally placed and surrounded by the audience in on all sides with ‘vineyard steps’ walls introduced in the audience area providing effective early reflections.

Large sound reflectors suspended above the stage provide effective early reflections to the stage musicians, and the audience surrounding the stage, while a massive ceiling with 200mm thick concrete support the low frequency response.

For Sappora longitudinal plan see: www.nagata.co.jp/e_sakuhin/factsheets/sapporo.pdf


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A ‘Vineyard’ hall - Toyota’s Kitara Hall in Sapporo (2008 seats)

At the recent opening of the Gehry / Toyota-designed Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, we met Yasuhisa Toyota and spoke to him about the Hall that we want to him to design in Wimbledon. "I think the vineyard style hall has big advantages, not only for acoustics, but being able to see the orchestra so clearly adds enormously to the "concert experience”.

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Walt Disney Hall. Los Angeles

Patrons: Dame Darcey Bussell DBE • Vladimir Ashkenazy • Esa-Pekka Salonen - Philharmonia Orchestra in Residence
Charity number: 1166011