Mount Auburn Cemetery, which has been serving families since 1831, prides itself on recognizing the challenges of this work and alleviating any burdens it can. In 2016, it undertook a renovation to upgrade its historic Bigelow Chapel to improve accessibility and provide lacking amenities. William Rawn Associates was selected to design the renovation and addition to the historic building. Acentech provided acoustics and audiovisual consulting.

In a place of reflection and remembrance, the individual experience takes priority. Acentech’s acoustics consultants worked to provide conditions of acoustical comfort and ease of conversation among friends and family. Mechanical system noise to the existing chapel and to the new space was mitigated and controlled. The chapel also received updated room finishes and sound-absorbing materials in order to improve speech intelligibility and provide gatherers with a comfortable listening experience.

Acentech’s audiovisual consultants also worked to make the chapel a more peaceful space for visitors. Using predictive acoustics modeling software, speaker type and placement were chosen to optimize sound coverage and speech intelligibility. Carefully woven into the design of the chapel, one speaker, in conjunction with proper acoustical treatments, fills the entire room with even sound coverage, allowing those in the front or back row to listen to services without strain.

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