Handel Architects teamed with Utile Design, Inc. to design the new three-story, 20,000 SF rehearsal and teaching facility at the Boston Conservatory. The project faced many acoustical challenges due to the building’s proximity to the Massachusetts Turnpike, commuter rail line, and legendary Fenway Park. Acentech’s Studio A worked closely with the design team to resolve any acoustical challenges that were faced throughout design and construction.

This new building for the Boston Conservatory is home to 15 individual practice spaces, two percussion practice rooms, an orchestra rehearsal and performance hall, two dance studios, multipurpose rooms, and teaching studios. Consultants from Studio A established acoustical goals for sound isolation between the numerous rehearsal and practice spaces and provided sophisticated acoustical solutions for this challenging project.

The challenges were substantial, particularly with the dance studios located over the main rehearsal space. Acentech later worked closely with the contractor, Shawmut, to ensure that the construction details were executed properly in order to meet the acoustical integrity of the building.

The end result is a rehearsal hall that is currently one of the finest orchestra rehearsal halls in Boston. With soaring 24 foot tall ceilings and a floor area that will comfortably fit over 100 orchestra members, the rehearsal hall was designed so that noise from the facing highway and train line is nearly inaudible, as well as being well isolated from adjacent spaces in the building. The room finishes, featuring a combination of sound diffusion and absorption treatments, provide just the right combination of reverberation and envelopment, on one hand, and clarity and articulation on the other, all properties desired by the musicians in a rehearsal environment.

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