Intro neede: who is Jaffe Holden?
With the grand opening of the Ent Center for the Arts, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs is giving the campus and community a first-class arts facility for teaching and learning. The facility includes many multi-use spaces, making the center’s acoustic design of utmost importance. In collaboration with the full design team and many stakeholders, Jaffe Holden’s focus was on creating an aural environment to support a wide range of programming for the university and other arts organizations.
The old facilities were cramped, in need of updates, and far from the campus center. Recruitment was difficult and spaces were under-utilized by the community. The new arts center is located at a gateway entrance to campus and delivers a contemporary, professional-grade facility where all arts disciplines are under one roof and revitalized resources for arts groups are readily available.
Making it Multi-Use
As acousticians, we have a few tools in our toolbox to ensure a space sounds great no matter what type of performance is going on inside. For example, the 750 seat Shockley-Zalabek Theater has natural acoustics to support classical music, and an adjustable acoustic system to support popular music acts, dance, theater, opera and ballet. We designed the adjustable acoustic system of sound-absorbing banners to sit above a partially sound-transparent ceiling. When the banners are deployed, sound travels through the ceiling to the banners, which dampen sound in the room to create an intimate environment suited for loud, amplified music.
The Chapman Foundations Recital Hall is a 250-seat recital hall used for chamber music. These days, chamber music isn’t restricted to string quartets playing Haydn and Mozart. The modern definition includes any small ensemble playing many varied types of music including contemporary, world, African drum, electronic and traditional western classical ensembles. We designed the acoustics of the recital hall to be tailored to each of these needs through the use of an adjustable acoustic drape system. The drapes hang on tracks behind a slatted wood stage wall and above the partially sound-transparent ceiling. When the drapes are not in use, the recital hall has a rich, reverberant sound to support a string quartet. At the touch of a button on a control screen, the drapes are deployed and the recital hall is transformed into an intimate environment to support a flute or guitar soloist.
A Professional Learning Environment
Students and teachers have unique needs when it comes to learning how to play and perform. Onstage hearing and listening are critical keys to success and acoustics make a big impact. There are many ways we as acousticians can tailor a space to meet the acoustic requirements of an academic performance facility. We invite you to learn more about that on our blog.
The Ent Center for the Arts will transform the campus at Colorado Springs by providing excellent opportunities for students and the community to learn and perform in a state of the art facility. Jaffe Holden would like to congratulate everyone who had a hand in its design and construction!
- Russ Cooper, Principal of Acoustics, Jaffe Holden
Russ Cooper has spent the past three decades designing acoustics for performance spaces at academic institutions around the country. His recent project work includes the Voxman School of Music at the University of Iowa and the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University. For 50 years, Jaffe Holden has been inspiring sensory experiences with acoustic design, audio/video solutions and IT infrastructure design for the spaces where people learn, work, live and play.