HMFH Architects

Ultimate Flexibility

In this article for School Planning and Management, Tina Stanislaski discusses the ways in which flexible design elements allow academic spaces to support a wide range of student activities while also responding to the community’s needs.

“In most high schools, the auditorium performance space is a truly multipurpose venue. To succeed, the design will need to easily adapt to all types of activities. The shape and size of the auditorium is a key consideration.

For large musical performances, the goal is to blend and enrich the sound through volume, sidewall deflection, and long reverber­ation times. A shoebox shape provides the ideal setting for music. For theatrical performances, bringing the maximum number of viewers as close as possible to the stage provides intimacy, eye contact, legible speech, and shorter reverberation times. Therefore, a wider and shallower rectangle shape is desirable.

We balance these conflicting spatial needs with structural, acoustical, and technology solutions.”

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