The new sustainably designed 105,000 square-foot Black Family Visual Arts Center serves as the campus center for Dartmouth’s Arts District that includes the Hopkins Center for the Arts and the Hood Museum of Art. Acentech provided acoustic and audiovisual system design consulting for the Visual Arts Center that offers a variety of resources for the arts including classrooms, faculty offices, an exhibition gallery showcasing student work, a 50-seat screening room, the 243-seat Loew Auditorium (relocated from the Hood Museum of Art), and a shared digital humanities media laboratory.
The center also provides sculpture, printmaking, photography, architecture, painting, and drawing studios, as well as cutting-edge film production, animation, and editing spaces. At the heart of the building is the Arts Forum, a three-story atrium designed to foster the collegial sharing of ideas among students and faculty and to allow for the presentation of electronic media. In keeping with Dartmouth’s energy conservation guidelines, the three-story center Atrium maximizes natural light and was engineered to achieve LEED Gold certification for energy efficient and sustainable building practices.
The audiovisual system design focused on Dartmouth’s pedagogical requirements for the variety of artistic disciplines taught in the center. The four-story Visual Arts Center has 32 separate audiovisual systems installed in the Seminar, Crit, Animation, Humanities, Digital Lab, and Lab Style Classrooms. In addition to the classroom spaces, audiovisual systems were installed in premier spaces such as the 243-seat Loew Auditorium, 50- Seat Screening Room, an Executive Conference Room, and the three-story Art Forum. The cost of the installed audiovisual systems was $3,500,000.
Acentech’s acoustical services focused on sound isolation between noise-sensitive spaces, including film screening and production rooms, art studios, and classrooms. Sound absorbing finishes were recommended to control the build-up of noise and reverberation. Mechanical systems were engineered for quiet operation, particularly in film screening and production facilities.