Cadogan hall: The performance acoustics. See the slide show

We first met Cadogan hall itself, the estates personnel and the project architect when surveying the acoustics as a feasibility study.

The results showed that apart from 2 effects from the same structural element (the barreled ceiling) the acoustics could relatively simply become “anything they wanted” !

Cadogan hall ceiling.jpg

The gently barrel curved ceiling

ceiling tile.jpg

Acoustic ceiling tile close up

The barreled ceiling had been fitted with fiber based acoustic ceiling tiles during the later days of the halls use a a church. These shortened the reverberation times too far for classical and orchestral music, while the concave shape itself produced two lobes of focused sound along the length of the hall. Seated within the focused lobes, the sound level was at least 5dB greater than in adjacent seats !.

Our design was simple, and attacked in exactly the same way as we would design a recording studio or home cinema – with emphasis on very tight bass control. Using a vastly scaled up version of our RaTs (resonant adjustable bass trap) mounted on the ceiling we achieved two areas of acoustic treatment with just one product. Bass absorption of the hall’s standing waves, right down to 18 Hz, and diffusion, successfully negating the focus effect.

Ceiling acoustic treatment at Cadogan hall.jpg

Ceiling acoustic treatment

Mid and high frequency reverberation times were simply controlled by tweaking the rooms surface finishes, apart from just one relatively serious modification to the seats. They had a modification to the underside of the lift up seat section, so that their acoustic absorption was roughly the same, with our without some one seated in it.

Cadogan hall Reverberation time graph.jpg

Cadogan hall Reverberation time graph

Later, and subject to the results of a written questionnaire we submitted to the RPO’s players, the front wall (behind the orchestra) was treated, so that the acoustic micro climate on stage mimicked the players choice of acoustic quality, from other venues they liked playing at, offering good player to player and section to section communication.

The up side of this is that the hall takes massive, deep musical breaths adding to subjective emotionality and dynamic ability. The down side is that, if any one of 108 players make a mistake, the audience, not only hear it, but know exactly who did it !!.

Concert goers reviews …

* Cadogan Hall is a 900-seat venue dating back to 1907 when, in a former life, it was a New Christian Science Church. A mere two minutes walk from Sloane Square tube station, right bang in the heart of Chelsea, this is a beautiful space with stained glass windows and Bang and Olufsen-esque acoustics. Revamped and remastered in 2004, this bright and airy auditorium plays host to an eclectic range of jazz, folk, contemporary and classical music throughout the year, where musical beats bounce around its steep barreled roof like a pinball machine. Resident music magicians come in the form of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A few of the BBC Proms concerts also take place here during the summer. Making this a Grade II building with Grade 8 music.

* I went to this venue for the first time to a choral concert by the Sixteen. Reviewer Phil B has it spot on. The auditorium is superb, the seats comfortable, the sightlines from the raked stalls excellent, the acoustic outstanding. A wonderful place to hear music of any kind, I would say.
Cadogan Hall has lots of character, good acoustics and easy to get to. Would love to hear some classical music there.

* Tucked away just behind Sloane Square, this is a gem of a venue. Designed as a Church, the acoustics are great, and the auditorium is intimate rather than cavernous.

* Comfortable and well positioned seating throughout then allows you to select the much cheaper seats at the rear of the auditorium which at around £18 are nearly half the price of the ones at the front but with very little difference in the view or the sound quality.

* Totally superb experience. Mozart program with the London Chorale. An evening to be remembered.

* This visit was a birthday present to see the Robert Cray Band and I had never heard of the Cadogan Hall , so expectations were not especially high. However ,we had the most brilliant night , a bit art deco in style , lovely interior and very atmospheric. Not huge but very comfortable to the point of quite intimate .The stage gives the impression of being very close and the acoustics were wonderful .
Great acoustics in an atmospheric venue. Finally, I got to see the Robert Cray band and the venue chosen was Cadogan Hall. Never heard of it before but my wife and I were delighted.

* It isn’t huge and impersonal. It is big enough to get a good atmosphere and sense of occasion yet intimate too. You felt like you were being spoken to personally by the warm up artist and later by ‘Bob’ too.

* I have visited the Cadogan Hall many times for concerts and events, and am always struck by the great variety of events they offer. The venue is comfortable, and I have yet to experience a bad seat. I’m no expert, but to my ear the acoustics sound good as well.

* I do love classical music and, in that regard, i find this venue perfect as the sound quality is one of the best in London.

* Fantastic venue and one of the best I have ever visited. This is a most beautiful theatre with fantastic acoustics. We went to the Joe Jackson concert on Thursday 8th of November and Joe was in great voice with a great band. an unusual venue to select but perfect for his music.

* We sat upstairs in the Gallery, which is great value – though try seats in the centre rather than on the sides for a better view. The acoustics are very good indeed, you could hear a pin drop in the quiet passages.
A very enjoyable evening, recommended.

* Cadogan Hall is a beautiful art-deco venue just off Sloane Square. We were here for an orchestral night and the natural sound of the strings and flutes filled the theatre well, creating some decent decibels without any electric assistance.

* The concert hall is really attractive – the classic shoebox shape, with excellent acoustics and a gallery around the top.

* Fab space with amazing sound. Seen two acoustic gigs here so far – Shelby Lynne and Ryan Adams – both faultless, and in this amazing venue a touch of magic is added.

* This is a good venue with really great acoustics.