Yale Receives an Audio Upgrade without Compromising Historical Architecture
America’s third-oldest college, Yale University, is perhaps as noted for its Gothic-flavored architecture as it is for its history and academic achievements. Systems integrator North American Theatrix (NAT) and designer Richard Laidman of world-renowned Kirkegaard Associates were called upon to update the AV systems in several of Yale’s new and existing buildings.
The University’s new and old spaces required a solution that would fit Yale’s various architectural spaces. Spaces such as the new Orchestra Rehearsal Room in the School of Music’s newly opened Adams Center, a stunning, three-story soundstage-like space. Also, William L Harkness Hall’s Sudler Recital Hall; the Greenberg Conference Center; and Sterling Law Building’s Room 127, which is Yale Law School’s largest classroom, and is classic Yale architecture that follows English Inns of Court designs, built in 1931.
For Sterling Law Building’s Room 127, named for its address in New Haven, NAT turned to Kiva and some ultra-compact 5XT coaxial systems for the range of lectures and other teaching applications. Using Soundvision’s 3D real-time mapping software to determine an optimal sound design, stereo Kiva arrays and SB15m subs were specified for the Orchestra Rehearsal Room, home to the Yale Philharmonia and Yale Symphony Orchestra. Kiva and SB15m also went into William L Harkness Hall’s Sudler Recital Hall, which hosts classical and other musical performances, speech reinforcement, and video presentations as part of its mission as a performance space and classroom.
Six 5XTs powered by a LA4X installed at Greenberg Conference Center Dining Hall further underscore the benefits of L-Acoustics’ solutions. Each system that NAT designed is powered and processed by a single amplified controller, minimizing rack space requirements and simplifying and speeding up installation for a cost-benefit to both the contractor and client.
With plans to have guest conductors work with the orchestra in the Orchestra Rehearsal Room via videoconferencing, the sound needed to be impeccable. Kiva was the perfect choice for this area. The team applied acoustical treatment to many of the room’s surfaces and installed motorized reversible acoustic panels, so the room is even more flexible.
In the Recital Hall, the team flew the Kivas about 60 feet up in the rafters. “You can’t see them from below, but their coverage of the room is incredible,” says Pat Nelson, Chief Operating Officer of NAT.
The team had turned to L-Acoustics, knowing that its products would deliver superior audio fidelity while discreetly blending into each rooms’ décor. The end result presented a seamless workflow for the University’s audio systems. Pat Nelson, Chief Operating Officer of NAT, explained, “The goal was to make these fully digital sound systems from microphone to amplifier to speaker. L-Acoustics delivers a pristine sound that lets us reach that goal here; their products are always a smart choice.”
We’re a preferred vendor for Yale and have worked on their AV systems in the past, so when they asked us to find the best sound solution we could for these spaces, we naturally went with L-Acoustics.
Senior Associate Athletics Director for Facilities and Operations, TCU