Architectural Record BE - Building Enclosure

Can You Hear Me Now?

With the help of acousticians, architects incorporate generous quantities of glazing into spaces where the quality of sound is critical.
Joann Gonchar, Josephine Minutillo, Deborah Snoonian Glenn
 
Continuing Education
 

Learning Objectives - After this course, you should be able to:

  1. Outline the acoustical properties of glass and glazing assemblies.
  2. Describe how glass is incorporated into the three projects featured: a university theater, a museum auditorium, and a place of worship.
  3. Discuss the strategies for mitigating the undesirable acoustical characteristics of glass in each of the above projects.
  4. Discuss the strategies for exploiting the advantageous acoustical characteristics of glass in each of the above projects.

Credits:

1 AIA LU/HSW
This test is no longer available for credit

Copious amounts of glazing can be problematic, especially when it is used to enclose spaces where the quality of sound is paramount. But with the help of acousticians, architects are demonstrating that the benefits of glass, such as a glittering building skin, daylighting, and views, need not come at the expense of intelligibility of speech or the clarity of music. A trio of current projects—an intimate theater at the University of Virginia by William Rawn, an auditorium inside Frank Gehry’s sculptural Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, and a renovation by Johnson Fain of Philip Johnson’s legendary Crystal Cathedral, near Los Angeles—reveal that design teams can successfully incorporate generous quantities of glass into acoustically sensitive spaces. These projects do so by combining glazing with other elements to reflect, scatter, or absorb sound and by exploiting the material’s own physical properties."

For credit, read all of the stories below and take the test.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Photo © Iwan Baan; Fondation Louis Vuitton Auditorium

Ruth Caplin Theatre, University of Virginia

Ruth Caplin Theatre, University of Virginia
William Rawn Associates

Photo © Robert Benson

Fondation Louis Vuitton Auditorium

Fondation Louis Vuitton Auditorium
Gehry Partners

Photo © Iwan Baan

Crystal Cathedral Renovation

Crystal Cathedral Renovation
Johnson Fain

Image courtesy Johnson Fain

 

Originally published in Architectural Record.

Notice

Academies