Four years after the groundbreaking in 2006, the BYU-Idaho Center was dedicated, making Brigham Young University-Idaho home to one of the largest production theatres in North America.

As part of the design team led by Salt Lake City-based FFKR Architects and D.L. Adams Associates as acoustician, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided programming, planning, and full scope of theatre and audio-video consulting and design services for the new auditorium and broadcast center, which includes live event support spaces, pre- and post-production HDTV facilities, and a 2000sf recording studio.

The new state-of-the-art venue can seat the entire student body and community guests at regular weekly devotionals as well as events featuring guest speakers, performing arts programming, or commencement exercises. The auditorium’s provisions for live broadcast and recording include a large central control/mix position with two automated camera pylons, as well as balcony rail and side caliper camera locations, and a flexible front-cross aisle to accommodate rail-mounted camera dollies. Programming from the BYU-Idaho Center airs on the BYUtv network available through many leading cable and satellite service providers worldwide.

“Our goal was to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for any single visitor to the BYU-Idaho facility,” notes Steve Pollock, principal in charge for Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. “The space has a surprisingly intimate quality and after a few moments, no matter where you are sitting, you’re likely to forget you are attending an event with 14,999 other audience members! Seating, sightlines, audio reinforcement, and massive image magnification systems make seeing and hearing effortless for audiences.”

The BYU-Idaho Center’s auditorium has simple, clean finishes, a “black out ceiling” with exposed catwalks, a forestage grid, and a gridiron over the stage, with over 60 motorized computer-controlled hoists from Scenic Technologies. It is a true working theatre with technology and infrastructure representative of the latest cutting edge systems. The large audiences and long viewing distances requires visual references to be augmented by 700sf rear-projection I-Mag screens displaying live camera feeds of the speaker, pre-recorded imagery, and pastoral scenes. Nearly one half of the BYU-Idaho Center’s 7,500+ square foot stage is comprised of variable height platforms, providing greater flexibility through multiple configurations.

Auerbach Glasow French designed, documented, and commissioned the architectural lighting and related controls for the lobby and auditorium audience chamber of the project.

“Meeting the requirements of such a large space with so many functions and broadcast requirements creates unusual demands that push technology and building codes to the limit,” says Pollock. “We are most comfortable addressing these functions in a leadership role. The challenges are a great match for our very best skill sets.”

Creative Team
Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, Theatre and AV Consultant
Auerbach Glasow French, Architectural Lighting
FFKR Architects, Architect
D.L. Adams Associates, Acoustician
Okland Construction, General Contractor
Payne Engineering, Electrical Contractor
Heath Engineering, Mechanical Contractor

Vendors
TSBA Engineering, Structural Contractor
Scenic Technologies (60 motorized hoists), Rigging Subcontractor
Barbizon Light of the Rockies, Theatrical Lighting
Diversified Systems, HDTV/Audio

Equipment
60 Scenic Technologies Motorized Hoists
1,700+ ETC Dimmers
2 ETC EOS Consoles
1 MA Lighting grandma2 Console
Over 600 Conventional Fixtures
46 City Theatrical Autoyoke
250 SeaChanger
Digico SD7 Consoles
Nexo Line Arrays
Shure Wireless
RME MADI Distribution
Yamaha DSP and Amplifiers
Sony Cameras
Canon Lenses
Ross Switchers And Graphics
Evertz Routing, Multi-Viewers, and Processing
Omenon and Avid Storage

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