Acoustics designer honoured by Royal Society

SARAH-JANE O'CONNOR
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2013
Sir Harold Marshall
Ben Campbell/Central Leader

HONOURED: Sir Harold Marshall, who worked on Christchurch Town Hall in 1972, was been awarded the Pickering Medal from the Royal Society.

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The designer of the Christchurch Town Hall's ground-breaking acoustics has been bestowed a further honour by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Sir Harold Marshall worked with architects Warren and Mahoney on the design for the town hall in 1972. On Wednesday night he was awarded the Pickering Medal from the Royal Society, in recognition of his acoustics research.

Marshall developed techniques which allowed clarity and reverberation to be optimised independently of each other. His methods have influenced the design of auditoriums worldwide, and are recognised as the preferred design for concert halls.

He has been involved in designing concert halls across the globe, including the Philharmonie de Paris which is due to be completed in 2014.

Two Canterbury researchers were also honoured by the Royal Society at an award ceremony in Dunedin. University of Canterbury professors Dave Kelly and Andrew Buchanan were awarded the Hutton Medal and the R J Scott Medal respectively.

Kelly, an ecologist, has studied long-term mast seeding trends, where plants produce unusually large amounts of seed in some years.

Engineering professor Andrew Buchanan was recognised by the Royal Society for his work designing timber buildings that will withstand earthquakes.

The country's highest science honour, the Rutherford Medal, was awarded to Dame Anne Salmond for her anthropology research.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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