EYP Architecture & Engineering NYC, Richard Clarke AIA
Case Study: A Crown Jewel Completed
The Spring Valley Academy was built in 1968 with the purpose of weaving faith, academics, and the performing arts into one revolutionary youth education program. Last year the school constructed a performing arts center that would dramatically strengthen the school’s mission.
During the conceptual phase, the Spring Valley Academy determined that the Fritzsche Center for Worship and the Performing Arts would outshine other performing centers in two ways: exceptional acoustical performance and connection with the outdoors. To execute on that vision, the architectural team, EYP Architecture & Engineering NYC and Richard Clarke AIA, would specify a NanaWall SL70 folding glass wall system.
Using the Outdoors as part of the Venue
When gazing onto the stage from seats inside of the center, a gigantic 32-foot-wide natural backdrop lies behind the performer. Those involved in the development of the project used the word transcendent during its creation, and the scene gets as close as it can. Everyone from the audience to the crowd can feel the connection with nature when in the Fritzsche Center.
The 12-panel SL70 aluminum folding glass wall system created the opening. When the wall smoothly opens, and the panels store out of view, the opening doesn’t just make for a beautiful backdrop; it’s also practical. And at times the Spring Valley Academy wants to seat more for a performance than the interior allows, it can set up seating outside of the NanaWall to create a 360-degree stage. Concerts can be held inside, outside, or both.
The NanaWall SL70 and the way it brings the outdoors into the venue creates the experience and visuals that truly make this venue excel.
"NanaWall was absolutely key to fulfilling the vision and guiding principles for the signature project—aesthetic and practicality. This space and the NanaWall feature have received rave reviews from performance professionals, students, and parents."
Achieving Acoustical Excellence
Not surprisingly acoustics are a priority for music performance venues. The inside of the Fritzsche performance center, whether the SL70 is open or closed, is designed for acoustical excellence. The NanaWall system contributes to that achievement. As the barrier to the outdoors, the SL70 is critical for the overall acoustical performance of the auditorium. When closed and music is contained, no sound can disrupt the performance taking place inside. However, in the case that the school wants to use outdoor seating and the NanaWall is open, the school sets up exterior AV hook-ups to broadcast sound outside.