Designed by prominent Swiss architects Burckhardt and Partners, the hall is sponsored by the Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (BCV) Swiss bank and other local arts patrons, and is located in the Flon in central Lausanne, a district which underwent extensive rehabilitation in the late nineties and now throbs with life and culture.
The 300-capacity hall is to be shared between HEMU’s classical and jazz departments and has been designed with acoustic panels, which can be reconfigured to suit the different style of music, enabling a 1.7 second reverb time in classical mode and a shorter time for jazz performance. Even more flexibility is added by the hall’s modular design, which allows the stage to be extended and seating stacked beneath it when required.
The main L/R line array system consists of 5x NEXO GEO S805 vertical array modules plus 1x GEO S830 module per side; these are fixed but the 2x RS15 subwoofers can be moved around the hall for maximum flexibility. Another 6x GEO S8 compact cabinets are wall-mounted around the hall for surround sound applications, with a further 6x S8s available for stage monitoring. All equipment was supplied by NEXO’s Swiss distributor ZAP Audio, having been specified by Artsceno, with installation handled by Auditec.
The NEXO system is running on a Dante network, which allows the FOH Yamaha CL3 console to be positioned anywhere in the hall, control room or even in an office, and for computers to be plugged in directly for recording. With its surround sound and drop-down screen, the hall can be used as a cinema, and the jazz department is also planning to make live recordings there.
The NEXO GEO system was chosen after demonstrations in a similar theatre in Geneva, and will now reflect conditions that students can expect to encounter on the performing arts circuit. In addition to being used for student rehearsals, examinations and concert performances, the new hall will host visiting artists and conferences.