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BTI Performing Arts Center - Raleigh, North Carolina

Architectural model of BTI Performing Arts Center
Architectural drawing of BTI Performing Arts Center

On February 21 and 22, 2001 the BTI Center in Raleigh, North Carolina opened the new 1700-seat Meymandi Concert Hall and the new 600-seat Fletcher Opera Theater. The two new halls flank the recently renovated 2400-seat Memorial Auditorium in the heart of downtown Raleigh.

Photo of BTI Performing Arts Center
BTI Performing Arts Center

Photo of Meymandi Concert Hall
Meymandi Concert Hall

Photo of Fletcher Opera Theater on opening night, February  
22, 2001
Fletcher Opera Theater on opening night, February 22, 2001

Bernard Holland, writing in The New York Times, February 24, 2001
"By seeing to its own needs, this city has built a symphonic hall whose scale and grace have universal applications.

...the orchestra stage seems to reach out into the audience. What people see has a great effect on how they hear, and there is here the sense of openness and social contact.

The Meymandi Concert Hall is a 21st-century rebirth of an early 19th-century theater, the kind of space for which so much of the symphonic repertory was intended and where it thrives. Ambitious cultural planners for American cities are advised to put delusions of civic grandeur aside, come down to Raleigh and have a look."

Technical Considerations
In the Meymandi Concert Hall large short-travel jackscrew lifts are used in place of orchestra risers on stage because the cost is similar and because lifts require no storage space, no change-over time, and no change-over labor.

Both rooms are exceptionally quiet, which should be a primary goal of all performance spaces. Meymandi Hall uses under-floor air supply. Until recently under-floor air supply was used only in Europe and was seen in the US as a radical departure from the customary overhead supply. Meymandi Hall, along with several other rooms with under- floor air supply built in the US in the last two years, proves that under-floor air supply is practical, economical, and very very quiet. We foresee that under-floor air supply soon will become the standard method of ventilating theaters throughout the United States. Based on several recent experiences we believe under-floor supply is cheaper than overhead supply, and it is superior in every other way as well.

Architect: Pearce Brinkley Cease & Lee
Acoustician: Kirkegaard + Associates

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