AUTOMATED ACOUSTIC CURTAINING AT NEIU RECITAL HALL

CLIENT: Northeastern Illinois University

PROJECT LOCATION: The Salme Harju Steinberg Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, Chicago IL

PROJECT TEAM: AGAE Contracting (General Contractor), Schuler Shook (Theatrical Consultants), Morris Architects (Architects), JR Clancy (Altus Control System), acouStaCorp (System Fabrication)

PROJECT SCOPE: Chicago Flyhouse was chartered with Project Management and Design Execution of an automated acoustical curtaining system for the $160K acoustical renovation of NEIU’s 170-seat Recital Hall.

Complying with designs delivered by Schuler Shook and Morris Architects, acoustic performance was improved utilizing retractable curtains and acoustic banners motorized via J.R. Clancy’s Altus (TM) Console, employing pre-set limits specifically designed to support various types of musical performances. Flyhouse staff provided controls training to NEIU staff and programmed the Altus to the venue’s specifications.

The project included a 22-foot wide acoustic system installed in the alcove over the rear stage wall, flanked by 6-foot acoustic banners in alcoves on stage right and left. All three acoustic systems were finished at the bottom with panelling that matched the alcove walls, creating a seamless visual when the curtains are retracted to the ceiling.

Additional motorized curtaining included an 8-foot high, 49-foot long section installed at floor level on the right side of the audience, and an additional 11×35-foot upper-level curtain at the back of the house. In addition to coordinating with outside vendors for key components specified by the designers, Flyhouse was also tasked with installing the pre-built pieces into spaces with as little as 1-inch of tolerance, while insuring minimal impact to the building.

From bid award to installation, the project was completed in only four months.