Education MEP

Altieri Provides MEPF Design Services for New Performing Arts Center

The Beehive / Photos courtesy of Brett Beyer

Worcester, MA – Altieri Sebor Wieber, LLC (Altieri) announced it provided comprehensive MEPF engineering design services for the Prior Performing Arts Center at College of the Holy Cross, completed at the end of 2022. The 84,000sf hub for multi-disciplinary learning and creative collaboration serves as a campus and community focal point, providing facilities for both the fine and performing arts.

The $110 million project, awarded to a design team led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Perry Dean Rogers Partners Architects in 2015, includes Luth Concert Hall, a 400-seat multipurpose proscenium theatre; Boroughs Theatre, a 200-seat flexible black box performance space; Booth Media Lab, multimedia space with state-of-the-art sound recording, sound editing, video editing, film, lighting and set design; support spaces such as scene and costume shops; the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery; and collaborative workspaces, multipurpose rehearsal and gathering spaces, a lobby, and cafe. At the core of these program elements is the “Beehive,” a high-tech atrium completely open to circulation balconies on all four floors, designed to highlight the college’s vision and design team’s intention to encourage collaboration among students from all academic disciplines. The project is pursuing LEED Silver certification.

Luth Concert Hall

“At Altieri, we have particular interest in theatre and performing arts projects, the design challenges they present and their ability to enrich the people and communities they serve,” said Michael Freliech, Altieri’s principal in charge for the Holy Cross project. “For engineering building systems design, a deep understanding of theatre design and acoustics is critical to the success of a bold and aspirational program such as Prior Performing Arts Center. A highly collaborative design team allowed us to anticipate the range of program requirements, work together to achieve best solutions, and deliver systems that met a wide variety of critical program requirements including low noise criteria, vibration isolation, and humidification and dehumidification sequences to maintain a healthy environment for performances, musical instruments, and artwork.”

The project team also included OLIN, landscape architect; Nitsch Engineering, civil engineer; Silman, structural engineer; Fisher Dachs Associates, theater planning; Jaffe Holden, acoustics; Transsolar, sustainability; and Tillotson Design Associates, lighting.

Altieri is a certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE) with offices in Norwalk, Conn. and Boston. The firm’s decades-long experience in theatre building design includes over 150 projects including The A.R.T. Center for Theater Research and Performance at Harvard University (in progress), Connecticut College’s Athey Center for Performance and Research at Palmer Auditorium, The Goel Center for Theater and Dance at Phillips Exeter Academy, and Granoff Center for Creative Arts at Brown University.