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Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, New York by GRIMSHAW
January 4th, 2014 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: GRIMSHAW
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is one of America’s leading research universities with a reputation for creative and interactive learning and the application of information technology to education. The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) is a nexus of technological and artistic innovation and optimized performance space, where the intersection of science and the arts is explored through sound, movement and light.
Grimshaw’s appointment to the project was the result of an international design competition. Sited on a steep hillside overlooking the Hudson River, the 200,000-square-foot building extends the existing RPI campus westward. It provides five different performance environments: an elegant 1,200-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theatre, two adaptive performance studios, and a dance studio. It also houses audio and video editing suites, artist-in-residence studios, and the campus radio station.
Grimshaw has designed a multi-functional, multi-layered building in which performances and other activities can take place concurrently without absolute segregation of building users. Key to the design is the atrium space, which acts a hub for informal social interaction and as the lobby to the major spaces. The program was complex and technically demanding; including four separate venues rated to the acoustic noise criteria RC-15.
Category: Performing Arts Center