Marietta, GA (February 29, 2008)–Recently purchased by the Mount Paran Christian School with the aid of a grant from Atlanta’s Murray Family Foundation, the $35 million Murray Arts Center features a 600-seat music hall, an 2,200-square-foot black-box theater, three dance studios, a recording studio and a video production/post production facility. The architectural and acoustic design for the Center’s theatrical performance spaces, rehearsal rooms and audio/video facilities was entrusted to NY’s Walters-Storyk Design Group.
“The multi-purpose design program we developed for the Murray Arts Center represents the culmination of a five year project,” remarked WSDG principal architect/acoustician John Storyk. “Senior project manager Romina Larregina led our team of designers and consultants, making numerous site visits throughout the design and building process to monitor the architectural construction process and consult on the myriad technical, acoustic and aesthetic issues that inevitably arise during a project of this scope.”
WSDG systems designer Judy Elliot-Brown played an equally pivotal role. “I focused on two primary elements of the complex, the recording studio program and the theatrical performance areas” notes Elliot-Brown. “Our Basil, Switzerland-based acoustic experts, general manager Dirk Noy and senior acoustician Gabe Hauser, specified the speakers and amplifiers for the theater sound system. Their computer-generated room modeling programs confirmed the speaker placement. The measured system performance during the tuning phase perfectly matched their predictions.”
Elliot-Brown also coordinated construction of the theater’s technical areas. She worked closely with lighting, sound and video contractors to create user-friendly rooms. Elliot-Brown was responsible for the conduit and cabling infrastructure as well as monitoring room construction via weekly site visits. “Acoustically sensitive recording studios and live performance rooms are among the most demanding of all the building arts,” she says. “Having a knowledgeable person on site, and particularly one capable of identifying and articulating problems before they are set in stone can save clients substantial amounts of time and money.”
Named in memory of the late wife of Don Dozier, an Atlanta-based philanthropist, builder and founder of the facility, the unique 600-seat Kristi Lynn Theatre incorporates a number of proprietary design features. “These include a fully flyable concert shell, fabricated to optimize reflection control; over $1 million in acoustic treatments including fully soundproof rehearsal rooms; and a $250,000 flying concert shell,” Storyk adds. “These elements insure the absolute optimum listening experience.”
Design and fabrication was a joint effort of WSDG’s Hauser and RPG’s Peter D’Antonio. Sixteen-foot high variable acoustic wood doors fixed to the sides of the theater allow the performance space to be easily changed from a symphony hall into a sound reinforced concert hall or a state of the art surround sound cinema.
The Center’s recording and video production facilities offer an arsenal of technology. The “crown jewel” of the audio wing is a vintage Solid State Logic 9080 recording console originally owned by New York’s Hit Factory. Dave Malekpour and his Boston-based Professional Audio Design team obtained the console and various pieces of vintage audio gear for the Murray Arts Center. PAD was also responsible for fine tuning the console prior to delivery and for the on-site commissioning of the SSL.
The SSL XL 9080 K Series SuperAnalogue console became an immediate hit with MPCS students when they learned it had played an essential role in the recording of countless gold and platinum records. Other key pieces of equipment include an SSL AWS 900+ Analogue Workstation System and two SSL C200 Digital Production Consoles. These essential tools provide the Center with the potential to make a major impact on the community both as a source for live entertainment and a center of learning.
Walters-Storyk Design Group