Building and Facilities
The Universal Hall was built as a labour of love by literally thousands of people (mostly visiting or living at the Findhorn Foundation Community) in the ten years from 1974 to 1984. Its basic shape is a pentagon and, at its heart, is an auditorium that will seat 300 people comfortably and up to 400 with extra seats on the wooden floor. The Auditorium is primarily used for music, drama, dance and mixed media shows and makes a great conference venue.
Designed by British architect George Ripley, the building has a hand-carved stone exterior facing, a magnificent stained glass entrance, geodesic roof construction and five enormous wooden ring beams hold up the roof.
From the exterior you can get a good view of the glass roof lantern, again pentagonal in shape, giving the building a highly unusual outline. Located at the edge of a sand dune/wilderness area, the Universal Hall was built to be the theatre, conference centre and meeting point for the Findhorn Foundation and Community.
The auditorium has a thrust stage area (hand-laid beechwood) with audience bleacher seating on three sides. The seats can be removed to create an increased dance area or for conversion to a TV studio. Video and slide projection are available onto a permanent cinema-sized 5 metre square screen. A full theatre lighting system is controlled by a Strand 200 48-channel mixer with FX. Total Blackout possible.
The sound system in the Hall includes:
1 x HK audio Actor DX system comprising 2 mid high packs + 4 bass bins.
It is a digital powered system with presets for band or for disco.
Output power 3,200 watts.
Also 4 x HK audio flown speakers, powered by a Lab Gruppen amp,
Output power 600 watts per side.
These separate systems can be linked together to provide an output power of
approximately 4.5K watts.
There are 8 monitor wedges, 2 powered and 6 passive. The sound desk can support 4 monitor mixes and there are DBX graphics for each mix.
The analogue sound desk is a Soundcraft LX7, which has 24 input channels. EQ is 4-way with 2 sweep-able mid controls.
There are a total of 6 auxiliary sends per channel, 4 for monitors and 2 for FX sends.
The FX Rack has 31 band EQs for FOH and monitor sends, a Drawmer Quad compressor, 2 x TC M-one XL revs and a Sony disc player. Should an event require a larger PA, a more powerful sound system is available from Acorn Audio. Please see Acorn Audio for more information.
There is a Steinway Boudoir Grand piano. We have a q build staging system. The auditorium also contains two of the largest oil canvasses in Europe, specially commissioned works by the late N Haydn Stubbing.
Technical Specifications in detail
Lighting Lamp List
|Rank T64 spot Profile|
|Rank prelude 28/40 Profile|
|Rank Patt. 23 Profile|
|CCT Minnette Profile|
|Rank 743 Fresnel|
|Rank Patt. 123 Fresnel|
|Rank Prelude F Fresnel|
|Rank 803 Fresnel|
|CCT Minnette PC Pebble convex|
|CCT Minnette F Fresnel|
A detailed lighting plan can be viewed by clicking here (PDF, 2.1MB)
The lighting rig is accessed by a skywinder from the floor and a long ladder from the seating area. The Universal Hall does not have a resident lighting technician. The lighting desk can be moved from the lighting booth to a table adjacent to the sound desk.
Dance Studio and Music Room
The dance and drama studio has a sprung floor, exercise bars on three walls and floor-to-ceiling mirrors on the fourth, sound equipment, plus changing rooms with showers. It is used for a variety of classes including contemporary and traditional dance, drama and yoga. Further down the corridor, a music practice room with upright piano and percussion instruments is available for classes, rehearsals and general use by community musicians of all levels of ability.
The recording studio is currently operated on a commercial basis by Acorn Audio, who offer a complete audio service from client concept to finished stereo master.
Studio Equipment – the sound recording studio uses a 24-track hard disc recorder for multitrack recording, and stereo masters are prepared to a red book CD standard on a hard disc mastering processor, or mixed to a Digital Audio Tape (DAT) recorder, depending on the clients wishes.
Live Room – the recording studio is acoustically designed and is fully soundproofed with air conditioning system. The live room, which is large enough to cope with anything from a 12-piece soul band to a Gaelic choir, has three isolation booths for vocal recording, drums or any other instrument that requires separation. The studio is also wired to record live performances in the adjacent auditorium.
Compact Disc Duplication
Short run compact disc duplication service with disc face printing.
Please contact: Ian McIvor, Acorn Audio on 01309 673141, mob 07925531539
Email: or click on www.acornaudio.com
Blue Angel Cafè
Located at the front of the Universal Hall. Interior and exterior seating in the café with a south facing terrace next to a rock garden with water feature. There is a range of cakes and pastries, cappucino machine, selection of light lunches, good range of herbal teas. Vegetarian. Organic beer and wine available during public performances. Open to the public daily 7 days a week and some evenings in conjunction with performances in the Hall auditorium.
The walls of the café and the upper foyer are offered as art exhibition space and exhibitions are booked the year round. The manager of the Phoenix Store (which owns the café franchise) should be contacted for details on 01309 690110.