Services Provided: Design of a First-Class Speech Quality Auditorium
Project Profile: University of Minnesota Mayo Memorial Auditorium
Located on the University of Minnesota campus, the AHC's Mayo Memorial Auditorium is used primarily as a lecture hall, but also serves many other functions. The auditorium is used for computer-based testing, continuing and distance education for large group seminars, and for grand rounds presentations.
Built in 1951 and renovated in 2006, the 18,200 square foot building is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, which required that its overall character and detailing be retained and preserved. Architects SmithGroup were awarded the task of renovation, while technology consultants Elert & Associates were engaged to analyze the auditorium and design a system capable of delivering seamless, first-class speech quality.
In effect, the audio system (which covers the egg-shaped 549-seat auditorium and balcony from just two 9” wide openings) was required to ‘disappear’ into the architectural renovation. Sound sources would include wired and wireless microphones, DVD, VCR, and computers.
E&A's team, led by principal consultant Will Craig and associate Ron Puncsak, set to work on the challenge, and Ron Puncsak developed an EASE model of the room in conjunction with Nick Woodard at SmithGroup.
Different digitally steerable line arrays were carefully modeled, and a pair of digitally steerable line array loudspeakers, flanking a 16’ x 9’ rear-projection screen, became the devices of choice.
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