Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music

Vancouver B.C. ● Academic

The Capitol Residences sits on the historic 1922 Capitol Theatre site and continues its cultural history in a new mixed-use building with an expansion to the Orpheum Theatre and new Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music. The 25,000 SF educational facility occupies the first four floors of the 43 level building and includes an acoustically isolated 120 seat recital hall with recording capabilities.

Creating state-of-the-art acoustically isolated music facilities in a mixed-use building within a high seismic zone required unique structural solutions. The Orpheum and VSO School of Music were completely isolated from one another and from all ambient noise. The acoustic isolation is gained primarily through an air gap between airtight construction in the floor, walls and ceilings. However, the use of such gaps alone does not allow for gravity and seismic inertial forces to be transferred to the core walls during earthquakes. The solution was, in part, vibration, lateral, and vertical isolation of floors, walls and ceilings.

Additionally, the Recital Hall, which required a preferred noise criterion (PNC) 15, was located adjacent to the elevator shaft. A 50 millimetre acoustic separation gap was recommended in the slabs around the elevator core on the first four floors, including the fifth floor slab, which carries the loads of the 38 floors above it. Lateral and vertical isolators were installed to support the weight of the slab and help transfer inertial forces from these floors into the core walls during an earthquake.