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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Institute
  4. United States
  5. Grimshaw
  6. 2008
  7. EMPAC / Grimshaw

EMPAC / Grimshaw

  • 01:00 - 11 April, 2011
EMPAC / Grimshaw
EMPAC / Grimshaw, ©  Paul Rivera
©  Paul Rivera

©  Paul Rivera © Peter Aaron © Peter Aaron © Peter Aaron +23

  • Architects

  • Location

  • Architects

    Grimshaw
  • Principals

    Vincent Chang, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Mark Husser, Andrew Whalley
  • Project Team

    Simon Beames, Shane Burger, David Burke, Demetrios Comodromos, Chris Crombie, Chris Duisberg, Matt Eastwood, Paulo Faria, Nikolas Dando-Haenisch, William Horgan, Barbara Kurdiovsky, Kirsten Lees, Melissa Lim, Theo Lorenz, Mariam Mojdehi, Junko Nakagawa, Michael Pawlyn, Juan Porral
  • Area

    221200.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2008
  • Photographs

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is one of America’s leading research universities with a reputation for creative and interactive learning and the application of information technology to education. The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) is a nexus of technological and artistic innovation and optimized performance space.

© Peter Aaron
© Peter Aaron

Grimshaw was selected following an international competition in 2001. On naming Grimshaw the competition's winner, Alan Balfour, Dean of the School of Architecture and member of the jury committee, commented:

© Peter Aaron
© Peter Aaron

“The distinction of the Grimshaw submission was in seeing the building as an ensemble of instrumental spaces defined by technology. This seemed exactly appropriate to house the range of performances and stimulate new knowledge that Rensselaer will bring to the intersection of the arts with science and technology.”

©  Paul Rivera
©  Paul Rivera

Located on a steep hillside overlooking the Hudson River, the 200,000-square-foot building extends the existing Rensselaer campus westward. Serving the campus, the region, and the international arts community, it provides five different performance environments: a 1,200-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theater, a black box studio, a white box studio and a dance studio. In addition, the facility houses audio and video editing suites, artists-in-residence studios and the campus radio station.

©  Paul Rivera
©  Paul Rivera

Grimshaw has designed a multi-functional, multi-layered building in which performances and other activities can take place concurrently without acoustic interference. Key to the design is the atrium space, which acts a hub for informal social interaction and as the lobby to the major spaces: the theater and the concert hall.

©  Paul Rivera
©  Paul Rivera

To minimize the visual impact of the large, windowless structures (such as the flytower) that are always required in a performing arts complex, the volumes of the performance spaces flow down and into the hillside, following the topography of the site. As a result, almost half of the building is below grade.

©  Paul Rivera
©  Paul Rivera

Upon entering the building’s atrium, visitors find themselves at the top of a cavernous space in which the wooden shell of the concert hall is poised like the hull of a ship or, more pertinently, the rounded belly of a stringed instrument.

© Peter Aaron
© Peter Aaron

The design was developed in accordance with Grimshaw's environmental management system and incorporates sustainable, low energy design. Included in these features is a liquid-filled, heated mullion system, used for the first time in North America, which heats the atrium during the winter.

©  Paul Rivera
©  Paul Rivera
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "EMPAC / Grimshaw" 11 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/124708/empac-grimshaw/>
Read comments

28 Comments

BG · September 27, 2016

omfg this building is just amazing

Claudia Guerrero · July 10, 2012

Este sitio es impactante, se llama EMPAC , buen equilibrio entre materiales, colores y formas http://t.co/EJ2rwcXo vía @archdaily

julian gomez · December 01, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw | ArchDaily http://t.co/JtroytfK vía @archdaily

Luiz · September 15, 2011

I didn't like this building so much. It's outside of human scale, despite, this is very nice inside.

A. Erika · April 22, 2011

empac is a beautiful building. this picture captures it. http://bit.ly/flkBnF

S.H.A.D.E · April 18, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw | ArchDaily http://t.co/GC5aMXN via @archdaily

coolwip82 · April 13, 2011

RT @danabbas: Our son, Geoff, will be working at EMPAC beginning next month. http://bit.ly/g9mE4M

Carel Munoz · April 12, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw http://goo.gl/5iE1l

Stuart Wheeler · April 12, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw http://bit.ly/gk39Wo

Dan Abbas · April 12, 2011

Our son, Geoff, will be working at EMPAC beginning next month. http://bit.ly/g9mE4M

arquiRED Mexico · April 11, 2011

RT @NewsArch: EMPAC / Grimshaw http://archdai.ly/foQOu4 #architecture ?? vía @anammanzo @ArchDaily

Scott @ Cube Studio · April 11, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw | ArchDaily: Architects: Grimshaw Location: Troy, New York, USA Principals:... http://bit.ly/hn5Tqr www.cubestudio.info

Ramon Cardona · April 11, 2011

Wow, this is so much like my architectural tesis. Too bad it was never build. - EMPAC / Grimshaw http://j.mp/e3iwFr

Jennifer Maher · April 11, 2011

RT @EMPACnews: #EMPAC is featured on ArchDaily today! Click on through to what they have to say about us. http://fb.me/URiCYfes

EMPAC @ Rensselaer · April 11, 2011

#EMPAC is featured on ArchDaily today! Click on through to what they have to say about us. http://fb.me/URiCYfes

EMPAC @ Rensselaer · April 11, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: EMPAC / Grimshaw http://archdai.ly/foQOu4 #architecture

Monika Lio · April 11, 2011

RT @Talkitect: RT| EMPAC / Grimshaw: © Paul Rivera
Architects: Grimshaw
Location: Troy, New York, USA
Principals: V... http://bit.ly/gk39Wo @archdaily

Travel Writer · April 11, 2011

RT| EMPAC / Grimshaw: © Paul Rivera
Architects: Grimshaw
Location: Troy, New York, USA
Principals: V... http://bit.ly/gdL5m8 @archdaily

DEZIGN · April 11, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw: © Paul Rivera
Architects: Grimshaw
Location: Troy, New York, USA
Principals: Vincent Chang, S... http://bit.ly/gk39Wo

Erik Joya · April 11, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw: © Paul Rivera Architects: Grimshaw Location: Troy, New York, USA Principals… http://goo.gl/fb/6mgxk

Jonathon Moreels · April 11, 2011

RT @moldingdesign: EMPAC / Grimshaw: Architects: Grimshaw
Location: Troy, New York, USA
Principals: Vincent Chang, Sir Nicholas Gri... http://bit.ly/e35FJh

Architecture+Molding · April 11, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw: Architects: Grimshaw
Location: Troy, New York, USA
Principals: Vincent Chang, Sir Nicholas Gri... http://bit.ly/e35FJh

r s · April 11, 2011

ArD EMPAC / Grimshaw: © Paul Rivera Architects: Grimshaw Location: Troy, New York, USA… http://goo.gl/fb/WsSRD

Kentaro Ohmura · April 11, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: EMPAC / Grimshaw http://archdai.ly/foQOu4 #architecture

Rania Matta · April 11, 2011

nice “@archconnection: EMPAC / Grimshaw http://t.co/CMOaxIf”

Maged Butter · April 11, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw http://bit.ly/g9mE4M #NYC #architecture

Bocetos Digitales · April 11, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw: © Paul Rivera
Architects: Grimshaw
Location: Troy, New York, USA
Principals: Vincent Chang, S... http://bit.ly/e35FJh

arhitectura · April 11, 2011

EMPAC / Grimshaw: © Paul Rivera
Architects: Grimshaw
Location: Troy, New York, USA
Principals: Vincent Ch... http://tinyurl.com/424da2f

···

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©  Paul Rivera

美国实验媒体和表演艺术中心 / Grimshaw