This exceptional venue is both a performing arts center and cutting edge research and production facility. Image: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The concert hall embodies a number of design and engineering innovations, helping to create a first class venue for music. Image: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The building's striking facade helps to create a bold statement and a signature building for the Institute. Image: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The facility offers students and researchers unrivalled opportunities for interdisciplinary creativity and discovery. Image: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY, USA
The Curtis R. Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) is an experimental media and performing arts center that forms part of the Institute’s capital improvement campaign. Constructed on a difficult hillside position, the center occupies 160,000 ft2 and includes a 1,200-seat concert hall, 400-seat theater, and two state of the art studios that support performance arts and cutting-edge visualization research.
The design team was given a mandate by the university to achieve LEED Silver standard with this building, and BuroHappold Engineering was appointed to oversee the project to ensure LEED success and assist the client throughout the rating process. This involved defining sustainable design goals, identifying environmentally responsible design opportunities, explaining the intent of the LEED ratings and points system, and performing LEED assessment at various stages of design.
We applied computational fluid dynamics and thermal modeling to optimize environmental conditions throughout the building, aiding the design team in their selection and sizing of mechanical systems. Our expertise came to the fore in devising solutions for the large concert hall and theaters, which required specialized strategies to maintain the sensitive atmospheric conditions required in these larger spaces.
Our input throughout this project resulted in a contemporary performing arts center that exemplifies the highest standards of energy efficient design, without compromising occupant comfort and overall usability.
Client: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Project Value: $200 million
Duration: Completed in 2008
Services provided by Burohappold: Structural engineering, MEP engineering, sustainability / LEED consultancy, ground engineering
Achieved a double LEED Silver certification
Computational Fluid Dynamics and Thermal modeling were used to optimize environmental control systems in the large concert hall and theaters
The center is 160,000 ft2 with a 1,200-seat concert hall and a 400-seat theater