Iona College Blyth Performing Arts Centre


Iona College


Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Completion date

October 2015

The Blyth Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) honours the legacy of Iona Old Girl Margaret Blyth. The 400 seat Concert Chamber has received significant positive feedback from the community on its architectural beauty and acoustics.

In October 2015 the BPAC won the top award of the New Zealand Architecture Medal in the annual New Zealand Architecture Awards.

Our Brief

Marshall Day Acoustics provided full acoustic design services on the project, working in close collaboration with the architect, Stevens Lawson Architects, from the outset.

We worked with the architects to shape the room to provide excellent acoustics for musical recitals and choir. The acoustic properties of the room were modelled in ODEON during the design phases of the project. Final commissioning measurements in the completed confrimed that the room acoustic objectives had been achieved and that a suitably low level of mechanical services noise had been achieved.


Twisted ribbon-like surfaces were developed with the architects and incorporated into the ceiling of the building to provide sound diffusion.

An operable louvred rear wall was designed to allow the reverberation time to be varied for different uses. When the louvres are in the closed position the Concert Chamber has a moderately live acoustic to support music recitals and choir. When the louvres are opened, broadband acoustic absorption is exposed to the room to lower the reverberation time for amplified sound and rehearsals.

"Technical as well as architectural issues have been resolved masterfully; importantly, acoustic performance has been incorporated seamlessly into the building, and natural light admired to great effect. On this project, client and architect reached for the sublime – and they got there"