Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center

Seattle, Washington

Project Size:

Renovated area: 2,500 square feet

Project Status:

Completed 2019

Press

LMN Handcrafts a Parametric Design for Octave 9

ARCHITECT, 06/04/2019

Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center / LMN Architects

ArchDaily, 05/16/2019

Octave 9 adds new space for experimental music in Seattle

The Architect’s Newspaper, 05/08/2019

Seattle Symphony takes spatial pitch at Octave 9

fastandwide.com, 04/29/2019

Meyer Sound Technologies Elevate Creative Potential at Seattle Symphony’s Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center

Lighting & Sound America, 04/25/2019

Seattle Symphony’s Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center Installs Meyer Sound Constellation System

Front of House Magazine, 04/24/2019

Immersive, experimental music space opens in Benaroya Hall

Curbed, 03/20/2019

LMN Architects Completes the Seattle Symphony’s New Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center at Benaroya Hall

The Registry, 03/19/2019

Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center In Benaroya Hall To Transform Musical Experience

Bisnow, 11/28/2018

Seattle Symphony’s Immersive Octave 9 Space to Open in March and Feature 24-hour Music Marathon

Geekwire, 11/14/2018

Immersive, experimental music space coming to Benaroya Hall

Seattle Curbed, 07/23/2018

Octave 9, Slated to Open in 2019, Set to Bring New Immersive Experience to Downtown Seattle

The Registry, 08/08/2018

Seattle Symphony to Create New Performance Space for 360-Degree Shared Virtual Experiences

Geekwire, 06/20/2018

Seattle Symphony Building A Versatile New Performance Venue Inside Benaroya Hall

Seattle Times, 06/20/2018

LMN Architects to Design Innovative Music Venue in Seattle

Contract Design, 01/28/2018

Vision
Octave 9 is a new immersive, experimental education and performance venue space at Benaroya Hall. Incorporating sophisticated digital acoustics and projection technology, the project creates a highly flexible environment of “electronic architecture,” unbound by the dimensions of the room. From this flexible platform, Octave 9 offers a hub for artistic and high-tech partnerships to explore new worlds of musical expression.

Site and Program
Located in Benaroya Hall at the corner of Union Street and Second Avenue, Octave 9 provides new access to music education and experimentation in downtown Seattle. The renovated space expands on Seattle Symphony’s well-established educational programs, while providing a venue to host performances, board meetings and community events. Octave 9 also serves as an experimental space for artists and composers; a space in which to explore the capabilities of the venue itself as a creative tool for expanding interdisciplinary performance possibilities. The 2,500 square foot facility features 13 curving screens on circular tracks to provide numerous options for interactive projections, including a nearly-360-degree immersive experience. Absorptive materials and surfaces ensure that the highly flexible electronic acoustical systems perform as programmed.

Design
To support the immersive experience, Octave 9’s physical environment can acoustically and visually disappear—an experience that responds to programming, rather than the surroundings. All surfaces and materials were considered for their acoustic properties and made absorptive rather than reflective: floors are carpeted; casework is made of micro-perforated wood; resting instruments go into built-in storage spaces; a mobile bar for social events can be rolled out or put away. Speakers, microphones, projectors, lighting and HVAC are all integrated into a custom-designed acoustically absorptive ceiling. Composed of an array of sound absorbing cells made of a recycled felt-like material, the ceiling design optimizes the room’s acoustic goals while also strategically minimizing technical, electrical and mechanical systems—including 10 projectors, 72 speakers and 28 microphones. The result is an intimate venue that is highly flexible and capable of morphing to the needs of the performance or activity, whether for a small school group, or an immersive, experimental artist performance.

Acoustic System
This important new resource for the Seattle Symphony significantly improves Benaroya Hall’s technological infrastructure. Using the Meyer Constellation digital acoustic system, the room can be outfitted to produce musical experiences that cross genres, disciplines and realities. Processors recreate early reflections and reverberation, and play them through a series of loudspeakers on the ceiling, casework on the floor and portable units placed around the edges of the curved screens to imitate the acoustic performance of other settings. The system further supports “spatial sound,” which allows individual speakers to play selective sounds or tracks in distinct areas of the room, creating the impression of movement and fostering innovative exploration. This electronic architecture allows Octave 9 to feel acoustically as large as the Taj Mahal, or as compact as a closet, providing a highly flexible and functional space that can be customized to the unique needs of each event.