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Phillips Exeter Academy — Goel Center


Project Name

Phillips Exeter Academy David E. and Stacey L. Goel Center for Theater and Dance

Location

Exeter, NH

Owner

Phillips Exeter Academy

Architect

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners

LEED Status

Gold

Project Name

Phillips Exeter Academy David E. and Stacey L. Goel Center for Theater and Dance

Location

Exeter, NH

Owner

Phillips Exeter Academy

Architect

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners

LEED Status

Gold

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Phillips Exeter Goel Center Stage
Phillips Exeter Goel Center Theater
Phillips Exeter Goel Center Lobby
Phillips Exeter Goel Center Blackbox theatre

As one of the oldest and most prestigious preparatory schools in the United States, Phillips Exeter Academy places a particular emphasis on providing students with the right tools to explore their strengths.

TDesigned by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) with theatre consultant Martin Vinik, this facility provides a place for students to discover, explore, and engage the performing arts. Acentech provided acoustics and audiovisual consulting services to the architects throughout the development of this project.

The floor plan of the Goel Center draws inspiration from the workings of a beehive, with an emphasis on social spaces where people can see inside practice and technical spaces. This novel approach celebrates both the product and the process – and with this approach comes many acoustical considerations. To ensure minimal disruption between high traffic areas, Acentech developed strong isolation measures between common spaces and the teaching performing spaces that surround them. The building has an ambitious program of stacked facilities: a dance studio atop a rehearsal hall, a mechanical plant above an apron stage theater, a dance performance hall adjacent to the stage of the main proscenium theater, and more – all designed with floating slabs, double walls, and other details that are key to successful acoustical separation. The main proscenium performance space – which flexibly serves lectures, dance recitals, and theatrical productions – has a beautiful acoustical character that supports this range of uses.

As a space designed to ignite students’ passion for the performing arts, end user experience was a key consideration in the audiovisual design for the Goel Center. The school needed a balance between state-of-the-art programming and accessibility. Within the main theater, Acentech’s AV and acoustics consultants worked together to design a sound system that accommodates a variety of performances and speaking events. With these thoughtful design considerations, Phillips Exeter now has a designated space to inspire a new generation of actors, dancers, singers, and set designers.

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