In 1996, The State of Sao Paulo set out to find a new permanent home for the Sao Paulo Symphonic Orchestra. The Orchestra's Conductor and Artistic Director at the time, John Neschling encouraged the Secretary of Culture to engage Artec's Russell Johnson to design a new concert venue for the Orchestra. While touring potential sites for the new venue, Artec's Chris Blair helped identify the potential value of repurposing the inner courtyard of the existing Julio Prestes Railway Station and there began the process of transformation and preservation of this marvelous architectural space into its present form. The facility was designed and constructed in a little over 3 years, thanks to its inherently excellent form for concert hall use, a proficient architectural team, and the leadership of Ismael Sole as Chief Engineer and Director of the Project. The 1600-seat concert hall opened in 1999 with the Symphony Orchestra performance of Mahler's Second Symphony under Maestro Neschling's direction. The entire ceiling of this concert hall is comprised of 15 separately movable panels, creating the opportunity to adjust the cubage above and below the ceiling, while varying the amount of coupling between the resulting uppper and lower volumes. In addition, there are a series of acoustic banners that can be used to reduce the liveness for amplified events.
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Architect: Nelson Dupre
Acoustics and Theatre Consultant: Artec Consultants Inc
Completion Date: 1999
Damian was Artec's President and member of the acoustic design team for this project, taking on the role of lead acoustician and project manager later in the design phase and through construction and opening phases to ensure Russell Johnson's conceptual acoustic design was integrated into the architectural renovation and carried out as intended.