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SUNY Potsdam, Crane School of Music, Bishop Hall


Project Name

SUNY Potsdam, Crane School of Music, Bishop Hall

Location

Potsdam, NY

Architect

JMZ Architects

Size

3,000 SF rehearsal room

Project Name

SUNY Potsdam, Crane School of Music, Bishop Hall

Location

Potsdam, NY

Architect

JMZ Architects

Size

3,000 SF rehearsal room

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SUNY Potsdam Crane School of Music Bishop Hall

The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam is one of the oldest music education programs in the United States, and home to outstanding performance spaces, rehearsal rooms, over 60 practice rooms, classrooms, a music library, student commons, and theatre production facilities. Bishop Hall, one of five buildings in the Crane complex, was unable to accommodate its expanding enrollment. Larger ensembles needed more room to practice–often at the same time–creating excessive loudness in rehearsal spaces as well as unwanted sound interference between studios. SUNY subsequently developed a study and invested $29 million in the renovation and expansion of Bishop Hall, led by JMZ Architects and Planners.

Acentech provided critical architectural acoustics and audiovisual system design expertise to this multi-year project, which included a new 3,000 sf rehearsal room designed for its biggest and most sound-intensive ensembles, updated rehearsal and music practice areas, a new recording studio, a new office suite for the dean, upgrades to mechanical systems, and a new front entry. We determined the needed size, shape, and materiality of the new ensemble rehearsal room, and introduced adjustable curtains to allow variable acoustics in the renovated rehearsal spaces. We established criteria for sound isolation between rehearsal, practice and performance spaces, recommending partition types, floor/ceiling constructions, roof/ceiling assemblies, window types, acoustically-rated door assemblies, and room layouts to maximize acoustical separation.

An electronic reverberation enhancement in two of the ensemble rehearsal rooms allows the faculty and students to extend the range of sound reverberation, creating more flexibility and broadening the rooms’ range of uses. We also designed the noise and vibration control for new mechanical systems, including recommendations for silencers, attenuators, duct lining and air velocity criteria.

Our AV system consultants designed audio playback and recording systems in each rehearsal room to allow ensembles to record and review practice sessions. Integrated video projection systems with front and rear pan-tilt-zoom cameras allow users to save video recordings of rehearsals and performances, and easily accommodate remote guest conductors and performers. The video projectors in the reverb-enhanced rehearsal rooms also include hush box enclosures.

These renovations and expansions will enable the Crane School to meet the demands of current and future program growth, while maintaining hearing health and providing increased flexibility and creativity for faculty and students for decades to come.

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