ABA Architects, Architect; Baltimore, MD
Techniarts Engineering, Systems Contractor, Washington DC
Honored by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) for project uniqueness, innovation in construction techniques and owner satisfaction, the renovation of Fort Myer Conmy Hall has met with considerable success.
Originally built in 1934 as an indoor equestrian facility, Conmy Hall has been in continuous use as the U.S. Army’s principal performance center. Conmy Hall has a 100’ x 200’ ceremony floor and boasts seating for 1200. Home to members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. The Fife and Drum Corps, brass bands and army drill teams execute with impeccable precision in the space and at presidential functions and military ceremonies on-site and throughout the nation’s capital.
Throughout the renovation and with an understanding of the tradition ingrained in this loved venue the design team replaced floors, walls, ceilings, windows and doors, building service systems, and designed a dynamic audio-video system and a superior lighting system. The performance space design consists of canvas reflectors positioned just below the ceiling which is effective in providing feedback to band members and also allows a strong early reflection of the sound back to the audience. Excessive reverberation is absorbed above the reflectors without obscuring the wooden underside of the roof. New air handling systems provide for a quiet performance environment.
The audio system design includes large self-powered loudspeakers to serve all of the audience zones and to provide speech intelligibility for the many ceremonies scheduled each year. Most of the ceremonies are narrated so the project includes an isolation booth from which the narration can be captured with high fidelity. In addition, an extensive central cable plant permits the hall to be used in a wide range of configurations, and supports the use of remote broadcast and recording trucks. A sophisticated AV power system provides voltage regulation, protection and ground isolation to ensure the best possible audio fidelity and freedom from interfering noises.