Acentech’s Studio A team has been involved in numerous upgrade, improvement, and renovation projects at Boston’s revered Symphony Hall, home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Our goal for every project has been to maintain the integrity of the concert hall’s hallowed acoustics during and after the renovation work.

When the Hall was first air conditioned in the 1970s, we helped to ensure suitably low ventilation noise in the concert hall and in other spaces. When the orchestra considered replacing its stage risers some 20 years ago, we conducted extensive studies of onstage acoustics.

In 2002, the Symphony undertook a major refurbishment and upgrade of the Hall’s concert organ. This upgrade required the complete removal of the organ and pipes, and left the organ chamber empty for a period of the concert season. Acentech conducted extensive studies before and during this work to document and mitigate any impact to the hall’s acoustics. By 2004, the original wood flooring of the performance stage needed complete replacement. Prior to the design of the new floor, we conducted extensive studies of the role of the floor in the acoustics on stage and in audience seating areas, with special attention to the effect of the floor on the lower strings.

In 2006, Acentech provided advice on finish treatments for a major overhaul of lobby spaces and back-of-house facilities. In 2008, when the Orchestra revealed and replaced the concert hall’s long-shuttered clerestory windows, we designed a new noise-reducing glazing system to ensure that noise from outdoor traffic would not intrude through these windows. More recently, we conducted measurements and provided design guidance for the wholesale replacement of the legendary hard-cushioned audience seating throughout the Hall.

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