How Architectural Wood Grilles Affect Acoustics and Aesthetics at Weitz Center for Creativity at Carleton College

A key feature of the acoustic and architectural design of the new Kracum Performance Hall at Carleton College’s new 56,000 SF addition to the Weitz Center for Creativity is patterned wood grilles which accomplish two goals: to allow sound to pass through the grilles to reach hidden retractable sound absorbing curtains, and to create a memorable and architecturally attractive space. AD worked…

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Pachyderm Acoustic Empowers Architects to Use a New Building Material – Sound!

Our Senior Consultant Arthur van der Harten has been developing an open source collaborative tool for acoustics simulation called Pachyderm Acoustic Simulation. This tool has been gaining popularity among architects and designers who are interested in working directly with geometry and acoustics. By exchanging models and simulation schemes in Rhino and Grasshopper, Pachyderm allows a new…

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The Birds and Bees of Designing Conference Rooms

A conference room is often the heart of an organization’s facility. It is that part of the “hive” where essential information is exchanged. This room needs to look and feel right to instill confidence for room occupants and the room’s acoustics inherently needs to support speech intelligibility.

Designing a room that looks right and enables every room occupant – physical and virtual (via tele or video conference) – to be heard and understood stems from the effecti…

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From Banking to Ballads – Historic Lancaster Trust Building Repositioned as Distinctive Setting for Elevating Humanity and Artistic Excellence

A century ago, no expense was spared to build the downtown headquarters of Lancaster’s largest bank. Finished in 1912, the vision of Lancaster’s leading architect, C. Emlen Urban, resulted in one of Central Pennsylvania’s most stunning buildings. The bank failed in 1932 and the structure remained vacant for 50 years until efforts were waged to revitalize it for the arts.

AD’s Senior Associate, Christopher Brooks played a part in this transformation beginning in1995 when he help…

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Rekindling the Romance of Historic Theaters – Beyond The Crumbling Facade

The crumbling facade of the vacant old theater to the casual onlooker is an eyesore. There are hundreds of them across North America.  Once vibrant settings showcasing human creativity, these performing arts centers have fallen victim to the march of progress – abandoned in favor of more modern performing arts centers, cinematic megaplexes and home theater systems.  Municipalities who serve as guardians to these buildings struggle with difficult choices:  do they engage the services of a…

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Design: Sustainability for Function & Purpose [as a cultural resource]

What does sustainability mean? For many, it means energy efficiency – enabling a building to be more affordable to heat, cool, light, etc. Yet, in the context of art buildings, it carries significance in assuring that the building’s functions effectively showcase artistry and offer audiences life-long memorable experiences. This discussion explores elements that make a building “work” for performing arts in the 21st Century.

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Acoustic Design Tools

Giving back: Arthur van der Harten, Sr. Consultant will be participating in a workshop utilizing his open source software, Pachyderm, for students at University College London. This remote skype workshop will help aspiring design professionals become more aware of and build skills in acoustics and simulation. In addition to serving as a practical way to better predict ho…

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Integrated Design to LEED GOLD – Empowering Educational Excellence

Connellsville Area Senior HIgh School was awarded the LEED project of the year award  from USGBC Central PA. AD was pleased to be part of the integrated design effort to the school’s renovation and expansion centered on achieving a vibrant learning facility that is highly energy efficient. Their architectural vision transformed the building to better reflect the district’s unique identity and their commitment to complying with LEED Gold standards has a dir…

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Marketing In Harmony – AD’s Marketing Director Earns Distinction of SMPS-NY Member of the Month

The Greater New York City Chapter of SMPS, a professional association for people who market and sell design and construction services, recognizes AD’s Marketing Director, Kirsten Haas as member of the month.   This distinction is extended to marketing professionals who actively serve chapter initiatives and endeavor to raise the bar for standards of practice.  In the context of daily responsibilities, AD constituents can be assured that Haas approaches each and every assignment with a st…

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Accessibility, Sound and ADA Compliance: Accommodating the Disabled

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) officially became a law on July 26, 1990 and ensures equal access and opportunity for all people with disabilities in the United States.   In the context of performing arts centers, aging audiences present the challenge of heightening accessibility to preserve loyal patron bases.  Design teams utilize various strategies to assure accessibility in new and renovated facilities.  AD is seeing a direct correlation between room acoustics and accessibil…

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