By restoring and re-allocation we strive for a balance between care for the monument and the comfort of the users. The result is a contemporary complex in a magnificent historical setting. It’s not only a modern concert hall with all the amenities for the public and the musicians but also a location for concerts with the best possible conditions.
One of the most important renovations is climate control. It is based on forced air. The principle is simple: in different places along the wall, via different fittings at floor height, heated fresh air with the appropriate humidity level is blown into the concert hall. In the ceiling, invisible grids take care of sucking out the air. With this ventilation system no noise or air movement is perceived.
The actual heating system is beneath the floor. This type of climate control is not only enjoyed by the public but it is also good for the paintings and the church organ. Not to mention the other instruments.
Very generally speaking we can say that acoustics is a question of resounding. If nothing is around, the resounding in the Saint Augustine church lasts for three seconds. That is the maximal acceptable resound length for the types of concerts to be played at the church. But if two seconds are cut from this then the concert hall is considered acoustically optimal. To achieve this, curtains were placed over the fourteen windows in the nave. These curtains are lowered or lifted by means of a valve rotor. In order to achieve a balanced interior, curtains have been placed over the windows in the choir. This makes it possible to darken the church.
AMUZ has all the technical facilities of a modern concert hall. All technical installations were discreetly integrated into the historic monument.
The lighting has been placed in such a manner that it is possible to light different areas of the podium.
The lighting and microphones are hung from thin cables, which are pulled up to the ceiling by engines installed in the church attic.
Above the Holy Sacrament, on the second floor behind the altar, is a recording studio. The recording technicians can work in a soundproof environment. There is a permanent hidden wiring, with input in the concert hall and output in the studio. This avoids messy wiring during recordings which is appreciated by the public.
An overview of all the technical specifications and possibilities is available at request at techniek[at]amuz.be.
On the ground floor of the new building are guestrooms, four of which have their own private bathroom and one has a group guestroom. On the second floor is another group guestroom. The artists have all amenities at their disposal. From the guest hall way they are immediately connected to the VIP reception area. Via the stairs the musicians can go to the rehearsal area as well as to the podium. All these provisions are also available to ‘ensembles in residence’.
The public is welcomed via the new building, Kammenstraat 81. Right away they see the vestibule, and via a slightly sloping floor they reach the foyer from which the concert hall and public restroom can be reached. All entrances are user friendly for people in wheelchairs.