Room for speech communication where one person talks to many.

Education, lecture hall, auditorium. Project: Polytechnika Warszawska (1999), Poland. Architect: Ewa Lachert. System: Focus E. Photo: Szymon Polanski.

Examples: Auditoriums, large conference rooms and lecture theatres.

To consider in room acoustic design:
  • Choose shape of room that involves short distances between speaker and listeners.
  • Use ceiling absorption to achieve good balance between early and late sound reflections and, consequently, a high degree of speech clarity.
  • Use absorbers on surfaces such as the back wall if there is a risk of late reflections or echo.
  • Reflecting surfaces near the speaker contribute to strong early reflections, thus improving speech clarity. Reflecting surfaces near the speaker can also contribute to better speech comfort as the speaker experiences support from the room.
  • Sound-scattering objects on the walls, or wall absorbers, contribute to comfortable acoustics and eliminate disturbing echoes that can occur between walls - "flutter echo".
  • In premises where, for various reasons, an overall ceiling cannot be used, e.g. where temperature is regulated via the joists (concrete core activation) or where there are large areas of glass, absorbent islands is one way of creating acceptable acoustic environments. The absorbent islands can be designed as baffles or as horizontally suspended units.