Initiated by the City of Sydney and held under a 99 year lease from the AMP Society. Architects Peddle Thorp and Walker designed the 1,238 seat Hall in a shoebox shape, proven worldwide as the ideal shape for hearing western classical music. Based on the classical configuration of the 19th century European concert hall, the design includes gently raking stalls and two galleries that wrap around both sides and rear of the auditorium creating a sense of intimacy between audience and performer. The elegant decor of French grey, gold leaf, light timber panelling and plum coloured upholstery provides a sense of occasion, enhanced by the white marble grand staircase that sweeps up from the entry foyer to the three seating level foyers, each with their own bar. Acoustic design consultants, Arup Acoustics, consulted closely with major user organisations to design the superior acoustic atmosphere. These organisations included Musica Viva Australia, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.