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WSDG Critical Analysis For Switzerland’s KKL Luzern Concert Hall Electro Acoustic Upgrade

LUZERN, SWITZERLAND: From its opening performance by the Berlin Philharmonic in August 1998, the KKL Luzern Grand Concert Hall was recognized as one of the world’s great performance centers. An international landmark, both architecturally and culturally, the complex attracts music fans from around the world to its picturesque lakeside setting.

Designed by architect Jean Nouvel and fully opened in 2000 KKL Luzern is comprised of three distinctive sectors: The conference and meeting room wing, complemented by a number of lounges and restaurants. A black box-style multipurpose hall which presents events ranging from rock concerts to general assemblies. And, an 1800 seat concert hall distinguished by world-class acoustics designed by Russell Johnson’s Artec.

A dozen years of constant use coupled with significant technological advances prompted the KKL Luzern management group to upgrade and re-tune it’s retractable electro acoustical system. WSDG, an international team of acoustical design experts, was brought in to accomplish this vital project.

The retractable electro acoustical system in the concert hall is used as a high-quality sound reinforcement system during some events, typically jazz, world music or pop style concerts and also for speech announcements during performances. Installed in 1998, the original system has reached the end of its useful life and was in need of replacement. Working closely with the KKL Luzern event technology staff, WSDG partner/general manager Dirk Noy and deputy general manager Gabriel Hauser are currently coordinating a multi-stage design process. This process starts by defining critical detailed user specifications, developing a comprehensive program of system planning, organizing and evaluating in-situ tests by a number of invited manufacturers and preparing a final system installation and calibration. Completion of this complex operation is projected for 2012.

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Photo 1 KKL Luzern Grand Concert Hall exterior

Photo 2 WSDG deputy general manager Gabriel Hauser performing a measurement reading in the KKL Luzern Grand Concert Hall.

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kkl-luzern-exterior-low-res.jpg

Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY’s major new destination studio, private studios for Goo Goo Dolls, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith; Green Day, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a six-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design. The firm maintains offices in NY, SF, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Germany, Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland.

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