Cork School of Music, Ireland

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J&C Joel were commissioned to provide the Cork School of Music’s 420 seat Curtis Auditorium with a fully adjustable acoustic environment capable of catering to anything from piano recitals to full orchestral performances to vocal and choral works.

In order to accomplish this, J&C Joel constructed and installed seven acoustic panels, each of which can be raised or lowered using pilewind winches and 56 steel suspension cables which are attached to the panels themselves.

The largest acoustic panel manufactured measured 16m2 and is suspended over the auditorium’s seating. Weighing 13,000kg, the panel is raised and lowered by 24 suspension cables which are connected to a series of pilewind winches via an arrangement of diversion pulleys.

Suspension cable termination via a six metre high counterweight cradle is located behind the auditorium’s acoustic side walls. To allow access for maintenance staff and to handle out-of-balance heavy cradle heavy load, a 200kg electrically operated pilewind winch unit was installed to control the load speed of operation.

Six other acoustic panels cover the remaining floorspace of the auditorium and in order to create the correct acoustics for any performance. Linked via a control station, these panels have been engineered to tilt 300 as well as travel up and down. Millimetre tolerances for each panel are measured via encoders mounted on the end of each pilewind head pulley.