David A. Bateman
Director, Technology Group
The Long Wharf Theatre is a renowned institution, a popular out-of-town stop for Broadway and other major productions, and a fertile ground for development of Broadway and touring productions.
This renovation, led by Gregg Wies & Gardner Architects, provides an improved patron experience that finally matches the excellence of the artistic product onstage. An expanded lobby, new more generously spaced seating in the theatre, and new heating ventilation and air conditioning all make for a more welcoming and enjoyable theatre experience for patrons. Increased ceiling height also provides an expanded workspace for technical theatre staff.
Throughout the design and construction process, Acentech’s Studio A team has worked to ensure that the theatre’s favorable acoustics were not disturbed and that no new noise was introduced. The removal of the previous plaster ceiling and the introduction of new rooftop HVAC equipment presented the dual risks of exposure to rain noise and to HVAC noise. It also threatened to make a “boomy” sound in the theatre. These challenges were addressed with a new, higher gypsum board ceiling mounted resiliently to the roof deck, carefully located and vibration isolated rooftop equipment, duct silencers, and other noise control measures.
Upgrades to the sound system were being made during this renovation project. We designed new infrastructure to allow the Long Wharf staff to immediately connect their new system to a new cable plant to take advantage of current technology. The result is an award-winning renovation that appreciated by the artistic users and well-received by the community.