NEW YORK:In a patent message of confidence in education and the inherent strengths of the world economy, the Berklee College of Music has embarked on a significant expansion program. In Valencia, Spain, an entirely new campus opened in January, 2012. In Boston, the first ground-up building in Berklee's 66-year history, 160 Massachusetts Avenue, a 16-story, $100 million structure, began construction in December 2011. While U.S. and Spanish architects were engaged to create strikingly disparate footprints for each of these bold projects, a single internationally recognized studio design and acoustical consultancy, the Walters-Storyk Design Group, was commissioned to create the audio education studios for both these learning complexes.
"We have a long-standing relationship with WSDG, and with architect/acoustician John Storyk who designed Electric Lady Studios for Jimi Hendrix among many world-class studios all over the world," Berklee president Roger H. Brown remarked. "In addition to designing a number of teaching studios and media rooms for our Boston campus, Mr. Storyk is a visiting professor for our MP&E Department. He developed Berklee's signature studio design course and also lectures frequently to our music production and engineering students. Both 160 Mass. and our Valencia campus required exemplary creative and technical standards. We have every confidence in WSDG's ability to exceed our expectations."
Celebrated Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava's ultramodern Valencia Campus personifies Berklee's total commitment to the future. WSDG partner/senior project manager, Romina Larregina, reports the sprawling 18,000 sq. ft. East Technical Wing features a 1360 sq. ft. recording studio which includes an 850 sq. ft. live room; four project/production studios ranging in size from 135 to 200 sq. feet; and multiple classroom/tech support environments "Berklee Valencia sets a new standard for European audio education and signal a new level of achievement for WSDG," Larregina says. The firm's 40+ years of designing professional recording environments and educational facilities includes such major schools as: NYU, the Universities of Colorado and Michigan and The Vatican's new Javeriana University, in Bogota, Columbia.
Designed by William Rawn Associates (Boston), Berklee's new 155,000 square-foot 160 Massachusetts Ave. tower will house eight WSDG recording studios, including a live room scaled to host a 60-piece orchestra. Scheduled for completion for the fall 2013 semester, the complex encompasses technical suites, classrooms, a film dubbing theater and, a unique, three-story 4000 square foot, 400-seat, dual purpose, auditorium/dining hall with a dramatic two-story glass wall facing Massachusetts Avenue.
"We are investing everything we have learned about acoustic excellence and educational prerequisites in these important assignments," says Larregina, who is serving asWSDG PM on both projects. "In addition to maintaining close contact with local contractors, systems integrators and our offices in Brazil, Argentina, Barcelona and Switzerland, I made regular site visits to Valencia and continue to personally monitor the progress in Boston.
"Our international team is collaborating on every facet of these projects," Larregina adds. "We have developed methods of pooling our mutual skill sets in technical drawing, systems integration, HVAC, room isolation, acoustical treatments, and the myriad related issues. We are particularly fortunate to have been engaged at the planning stage, as this enables us to anticipate and eliminate potential acoustic problems rather than having to devise 'fixes,' after the walls, floors and ceilings are in place."
"Commissions on the scale of Berklee's Boston and Valencia projects are rare in today's economic environment, but these will be extraordinary campuses," John Storyk concludes. "We engaged the most advanced predictive acoustic modeling software and have incorporated the latest acoustical and technical developments in every facet of our design to insure the highest degree of future-proofing for these studios and teaching labs. Roger Brown's visionary commitment to bringing these schools to life speaks volumes about our faith in the future," Storyk concludes. "Berklee will be preparing students for generations of creative, rewarding careers, both here and in Europe. WSDG is honored to be associated with this noble mission."
Photos: 1. Berklee College of Music 160 Massachusetts Ave. Rendering
2. Berklee 160 Mass. Control/Classroom Rendering
3. Berklee Valencia Campus (photo by Alberto Hidalgo)
4. Berklee Valencia Control/Classroom Rendering
Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC's Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes around the US, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY's major new destination studio; private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland's Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design, including 2012 for Jungle City. WSDG maintains offices in NY, SF, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Germany, Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland.