As one of the oldest, most respected higher ed institutions in the United States, Yale University has a unique reputation to uphold—one that not only respects the centuries of history behind its walls but also looks toward the future outside of them. The latest project on campus strikes this exact balance by transforming the existing J.W. Gibbs Laboratory into a forward-thinking epicenter of scientific research. Yale teamed with architecture firms Pelli Clarke Pelli and Stantec to develop a hub for biologists, physicists, chemists, and students to come together under one roof. In turn, Acentech’s multi-disciplinary team of acoustics, audiovisual, and IT Infrastructure consultants were selected by the architects to assist in the design of this 7-story, 277,550 SF facility.
Yale’s Science Building showcases a 500-seat lecture hall, aquatics and insect labs, quantitative biology center, imaging suites, and a rooftop greenhouse. The facility includes a large lecture hall with sophisticated audiovisual systems, including videoconferencing capabilities and support for cinema presentations with surround sound and numerous meeting and collaboration spaces for building users. To best promote the inclusive, holistic environment Yale hopes to achieve with this multi-disciplinary facility, the typical blueprint for teaching, social, and office spaces needed to go out the window. Smaller student gathering spaces are now peppered between professors’ private offices to nudge both parties to interact with one another in a more natural manner. Yet, such a novel design approach can come at a cost: without sound isolation between offices and chatting students, focus and concentration can suffer. Highly absorptive finishes, wall construction, and even mechanical system noise control developed by Acentech keeps the crux of this building’s purpose—to better collaborate across disciplines—intact.
Just as this center looks to provide a place for subtly-related fields of study to cross-pollinate, Acentech is a space for acoustical, audiovisual, and IT Infrastructure consultants to come together and design spaces students and researchers will love to use. When looking to develop a multi-disciplined, state-of-the-art facility, systems that might otherwise seem unrelated or inconsequential can spell big trouble for sensitive laboratory equipment. Acentech’s collective, holistic approach to Acoustics, AV, IT infrastructure, and Security Systems ensures the elimination of any interference with delicate equipment. For instance, the buzzing of a video projector may seem like a minor issue, but when it is operating below an electron microscope, researchers may not be able to make any measurements if this AV tool is not installed properly. Working to ensure all aspects of Yale’s New Science Hall do not interfere with the validity and accuracy of work done inside its walls is a true honor for Acentech.