Grand Rapids Community College Secchia Institute for Culinary Education
Conference Center, Higher Education, and Restaurant
- Quincey Smail, Senior Acoustical Consultant
- Melinda Miller, Principal Engineer
- John Kramer, Acoustical Consultant
- Erik J Geiger, Director of Audiovisual
ABD Engineering & Design worked with Progressive AE to provide Room Acoustics recommendations and an audio system design for this unique kaleidoscopic piazza.
The college wanted to enclose an existing patio at the southeast entrance to the downtown campus on the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, essentially building a new building on top of an existing one. The multi-colored dome would become an exterior landmark and create a beautiful interior for use as a gathering and event space at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. The 31-foot-wide, 15-foot-tall “skycone” presented acoustical challenges to control the sound with many hard surfaces (including a tondo – a round floor pattern – designed by GRCC Communications Department artists) and the large-space volume. Traditional acoustical treatment paired with translucent materials that allowed in the light while absorbing sound produced a space that sounds as good as it looks. Meanwhile, the audio system needed to pair with and compliment the room’s acoustical performance.
The beautiful specialized materials are machined with hundreds of micro-slits through them. The panels are normally clear-transparent but for this project they were custom printed with translucent UV ink, to match the seven colors of the Piazza’s glazing.
Photos by David Sparks, courtesy of Global USS.