Mechanized Seating

Massey Hall is an internationally recognized venue for concerts and lectures, and also hosts events ranging from weddings to boxing matches, to chess tournaments. Uni-Systems Engineering is designing and supplying a system to easily reconfigure the main seating area to accommodate each type of gathering.

When deployed, Massey Hall Theater’s mechanized seating will accommodate traditional theater audiences. In less than 1 ½ hours, 470 seats will be driven to a small storage space under the stage to provide a clear floor area for non-theater events. The movable seating will be divided into four sections that will move independently of each other.

Uni-Systems Engineering designed and constructed a first article mechanism for demonstration and proof of concept. A seat lifting tractor with urethane wheels and a chain drive powered by 1 horsepower electric motor was installed within a 6-inch sloped trench. The tractor successfully moved a representative row of seating both uphill and downhill between the stored and deployed positions .

When in the final installation, four tractors will each lift a section of seating, and will move it along the sloped floor. When the seating reaches either end of travel, it will be lowered and locked into place to prevent unintentional movement.

General Information

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Completion: 2021
Client: The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall
Architect KPMB Architects
Project Manager: Ellisdon Corporation

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