| 21 Apr 2024
Auditorium design bags international award for balance sound quality and low reverberation

MUMBAI: An auditorium located at Mumbai Central with an area of 6000 sq ft and capable of accommodating 300 people, has been created keeping in mind the smooth movement of sound waves. The auditorium cost, including interiors, AV, projection system, HVAC and electrical, was 2.5 crores. Planet 3 Studios, which designed the auditorium, bagged the international award for top institutional theatre design in 2014.

The design team involved in creating the space includes Kalhan Mattoo, Santha Gour Mattoo, Shanky Jain, Dhiraj Narang and Amit Jadhav. The state-of- the-art design includes wood faced acoustical boards which engage sound in a way, carrying it from the stage, right to the back of the auditorium without perceptible drop in intensity.

Planet 3 studios director Kalhan said, "Usually, the default model is used by others in the industry, but we decided to do things in a slightly different way. We decided to strike a balance between absorption and reflection of sound. The reflection has to happen more towards the stage so that the sound is carried towards the other end. These are the basic principles that we worked on when we started designing the space. "

He further added, "Our studio approached the project keeping in mind basic principles that we have. And we did the project as beginners, as it was our first auditorium. Everything initially was fitting in the standard auditorium design but we wanted to re-think a little bit and the client was ready to allow us to experiment, which finally helped us design the space." The design evolved after multiple re-creations with various design software. "New techniques in regards to parametric and computational design tools have been used. Considering there are not many world class theaters in India, this is a small but significant step in that direction," stated Kalhan.

Budget is not the only challenge when it comes to design and construction. "The biggest challenge here is the lack of construction skills by those who built the space according to the design provided to them," Kalhan stated.

The grey and orange coloured auditorium is Planet 3 Studios’ first project in the auditorium space, with primary focus on sound. He stated, "We would love to work on many such projects, where people have the ambition of creating quality and design difference. We hope that after demonstrating the quality we have produced that people will knock on our doors." The studio has a portfolio of projects comprising institutional buildings, high rise buildings, adaptive-reuse projects, colleges, schools, training centres, corporate offices, banks, retail outlets, resorts, restaurants, lounges, nightclubs, furniture and even industrial products.

The company currently has 10-15 on-going projects in over 10 different cities in India.