Serving roughly 50,000 visitors each year, the new Higgins Welcome Center at the University of Rhode Island does a lot with its 11,000 square feet. As the first point of contact for prospective students and families, this new building needed to balance the lines between warm and high tech, familiar and forward-thinking. URI selected DBVW Architects for this project, and, in turn, the designers looked to Acentech for audiovisual and acoustics consulting services.

When designing the AV system for the Higgins Welcome Center, user experience was a high priority. After all, first impressions are important—especially when deciding where to go to college. In the entry lobby space, Acentech designed a network of digital signage displays featuring everything from the football season schedule to interviews with current students. Seamlessly placed alongside comfortable chairs, tabletops, and a reception desk, visitors are immediately immersed in the URI campus culture and encouraged to interact with them to learn more about the school. Acentech also designed the sound and video systems for the presentation spaces at Higgins Welcome Center which feature digitally steerable loudspeakers and a large video wall.

Comfort is also a key component in creating a friendly welcome center. Acentech’s acousticians worked to ensure the design included sufficient sound absorbing material to control reverberation and activity noise. We also provided guidance on mechanical system noise control and sound isolation standards throughout the building.

As a well-equipped, thoughtfully designed space, URI’s Higgins Welcome Center is more than ready to greet the school’s many prospective students and families.

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