University of Pennsylvania – The ARCH Building

ARCH Exterior PhotoThe University of Pennsylvania recently completed a renovation of its Arts, Research and Culture House (ARCH) building into a campus hub for the entire University community to gather, dine, and enjoy intellectual/educational events such as performances and art exhibits.  Built in 1928, this historic, Gothic Revival building is centrally located on campus and is home to three cultural resource centers.  The renovated space includes new café, lounges, study spaces and a high-tech, multi-use auditorium.

Metropolitan Acoustics consulted on the interior room acoustics, acoustical isolation and mechanical system noise and vibration control for this building renovation.  The ground floor was transformed into an open plan “living Room” with built-in banquette seating for the three cultural groups to allow the students to mingle amongst each other. Acoustical challenges included glass enclosed suites and high ceilings.  The first floor has more lounges, meeting rooms, a café and an outdoor terrace for students to socialize and study.

The second floor was redesigned to house a premier classroom/auditorium for up to 150 students.  The flexible seating space enables the auditorium to transform into a large classroom for students, performance space, banquet hall or seminar venue for scholars.  Challenges here included reducing the sound transmission from the new roof-top air-handling units into the auditorium and designing appropriate acoustical isolation and interior room acoustics for the various functions to take place in the auditorium.