Convex Design Promotes Sound Diffusion
Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center

The $141.7-million, 221,200-sq-ft Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., opened on Oct. 3 after four years of construction. The building combines highly flexible studio and performance space and is nestled into a hill overlooking the city, with the main entrance opening into an atrium near the top. Turner Construction, New York City, was construction manager on the project, designed by Grimshaw Architects, also based there. The hall is slightly convex to maximize sound diffusion and has a thin fabric ceiling to reflect high-frequency sound while allowing lower frequency wavelengths to pass into the area above and reverberate.