The Brookline public school system is one of the highest ranked in the United States, but until 2013 it lacked a proper space for after-school programming. The community enlisted the help of studioMLA Architects to make the dream of a vibrant, functional and safe space for adolescents a reality. The project team worked closely with teen interns and volunteers, not only to educate them about the construction process, but also to gain a better understanding of what students need from this structural repurposing of a 100-year-old parking garage.

This collaboration yielded a 12,000 square-foot space where students can gather after class to socialize and study in a welcoming environment. The Teen Center includes a generously sized gymnasium, a performance space, a 2-lane bowling alley, a state-of-the art music recording studio, an interactive café, and special rooms reserved for academic and counseling support services. To complete the design, studioMLA incorporated a new stair and elevator tower, along with a spacious outdoor deck and rain garden.

Acentech worked with studioMLA to provide acoustics consulting services both within and without the entire building. On the interior, sound isolation around the bowling alley, gymnasium, and recording studios was a top priority. While on the exterior, we addressed community concerns related to noise from the deck and rain garden. Acentech also paid special attention to the structure’s mechanical system noise and vibration control.

The Brookline Teen Center is LEED Silver certified. It received the BSA Design Excellence Award, AIA New England People’s Choice Award, and the Association of Builders and Contractors Eagle Award.

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