(Marshall acknowledges that this was a "minor problem" with Christchurch Town Hall in New Zealand, which he designed and which opened in 1972. "The problem was noticed only by people sitting close to reflective surfaces," Marshall said in a telephone interview from Auckland. He also said he avoided the problem when he designed a hall that opened in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1984.)
The Orange County center "is very much the projection of an idea into three-dimensional form," Forsyth says. "But it is carried out so logically into three-dimensional form that it has been taken to a sort of crazy extreme."
Hyde, who collaborated with Marshall on a 2,700-seat symphony hall in Wellington, New Zealand, called Forsyth's speculation "preposterous" because the hall has not yet opened.
Marshall, whose access to testing facilities in Auckland has allowed a model of the Orange County center to be built and tested in New Zealand, has said that extensive testing indicates the hall will fulfill his expectations for opening night.
But from another acoustician, who is only too familiar with the risks that accompany high expectations, comes this advice:
"Don't make flash judgments," Leo Beranek said in a recent interview from Boston, where he sits on the board of directors of Symphony Hall. "Take it easy. It's always possible to make adjustments."