The Brooks School in North Andover, MA has a new Center for the Arts. The new 48,000 SF building houses all the visual and performing arts programs for the ever-bustling residential campus. The building contains two theatres, five music ensemble rehearsal rooms, a digital media lab, art studios, a multipurpose classroom, and various support spaces. Acentech provided acoustics consulting services for the two-story building designed by Ann Beha Architects.

The new center invites more students to engage with the arts by making each space highly visible and accessible to the central “Arts Street” corridor, which connects students in the building across artistic disciplines. One way this is accomplished is by having operable sidewalls on both the upper and lower level of the 380-seat proscenium theatre. Acentech’s consultants worked with Ann Beha Architects and Nextstage Design on room shaping and finishes in the proscenium theatre to provide beneficial acoustical support and moderate liveliness for music while still achieving high intelligibility of amplified and unamplified speech. The room is served by extremely quiet mechanical systems, affording students an expansive dynamic range for performance and audio recording.

The design also called for rehearsal spaces to be stacked on top of and next to each other. Floating floors, sound barrier ceilings, double-wall constructions, and double window assemblies were used to allow flexibility for simultaneous use without disruption. Acentech’s acoustics consultants also recommended noise and vibration control treatments to meet appropriately low background sound levels throughout the entire building.

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