When Curtis started exploring possibilities for expanding their facilities to include additional music education spaces and add student residences, they involved Kirkegaard in the assessment of planned uses, feasibility, and cost. The solution was to replace the Locust Club building positioned one block down Locust Street with a new building from the ground up while preserving two historical façades. The culmination is Lenfest Hall, which The Philadelphia Inquirer notes is “a remarkable achievement of culture-and, in key places, quiet. Lenfest Hall (opened in 2011) on time, several million dollars under budget, and fully funded.”

Lenfest Hall provides Gould Rehearsal Hall for the Curtis Symphony Orchestra; 32 additional teaching studios, chamber music rehearsal rooms, and practice rooms; audio and video recording studios; an orchestra library; and the orchestral instrument collection, which houses over two hundred string instruments and bows and over fifty wind and brass instruments, all requiring special attention to HVAC systems for ensuring their preservation. The facility provides safe, affordable residences for half the student body and has amenities that include dining and social spaces and a roof terrace, all of which are shared among students, faculty, and staff.

Kirkegaard provided acoustics and building services noise/vibration control consulting throughout Lenfest Hall’s development from programming to project completion. Since the building had to accommodate simultaneous music-making at many rooms and student practice at any hour of the night while others are sleeping, the building’s exceptional requirements for sound isolation between rooms and at the building exterior demanded Kirkegaard’s careful attention to nearly every design detail and construction process. The project has achieved LEED Gold Certified status and won numerous awards.

Project Details
Mechanical Noise Control
Room Acoustics Design
Sound Isolation
VSBA Architects and Planners, Architect, Philadelphia, PA
Cosler Theatre Design, Theatre Consultant, New York, NY
105,000 gsf
LEED Gold certification; Commonwealth Award, Community Institution Project, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, 2013; Best Overall Project and Best Higher Education / Research Project, Engineering News Record Mid-Atlantic, 2012; Preservation Achievement Grand Jury Award, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, 2012; Outstanding Project Award, Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards, Delaware Valley Association of Structural Engineers, 2012; Cast in Place Structural Framing Award, American Concrete Institute, Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Chapter, 2012; Best Historic Preservation Project, General Building Contractors Association, 2011; Notable Achievement in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Award, Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, Philadelphia Chapter, to Urban Engineers, 2011