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Salt Lake Tabernacle

Team

FFKR Architects; Salt Lake City, UT
Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, Theatre Consultants; San Francisco, CA

Project Awards

Excellence in Concrete Award 2008
AGC Building Project of the Year 25+ million 2008
AIA Utah, Honor Award 2007
AIA Utah, Peoples Choice 2007
Intermountain Contractor, Best Renovation/Restoration Project 2007
Best Structural Engineering Project

Project Description

Room acoustics, noise control, and audio-video systems upgrades were implemented in tandem with needed seismic modifications to the historic Salt Lake Tabernacle, originally built in 1875. The project included renovations of the famous Tabernacle itself and two additions: a new choral rehearsal room and a new audio mixing and mastering room constructed beneath the public plaza adjacent to the tabernacle.

The work inside the tabernacle began with extensive measurements to document the existing acoustics of the space. Subsequently, when the underlying wooden structure of the tabernacle was seismically reinforced with additional connections, the acoustics could be restored to exactly what they were prior to the work. A new motorized platform/lift system was installed and added quiet air conditioning systems were designed to serve choir seating. A new audio system was included in this phase of the project with a revised mixing position, integration of a new digital mixing console, and new loudspeaker systems. The loudspeaker design included both a discrete system for voice reinforcement and a large concert line array system for amplified events.

Under the plaza surrounding the tabernacle, the audio mixing room addition was designed to provide a very high-quality environment for mixing of broadcasts and recordings. The room was specifically crafted with surround sound mixing and broadcasts in mind. The front of the room features a virtual wall of sound-transparent cloth behind which the main left, center, and right loudspeakers are hidden. Behind the large sound mixing console there is space for outboard processing gear and a director’s table.

The famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir lacked a quality rehearsal space other than the tabernacle itself. The new choir rehearsal room provides a quality space for sectional rehearsals, choir training and small performances to complement the choir’s use of the much larger tabernacle, which remains the principal rehearsal space for the full choir, restored to its original glory.

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