The historic Cornell Boathouse was originally built in 1890 for Cornell University’s rowing team as part of the famed ‘Regatta Row’ on the Hudson River. The boathouse was acquired by Marist College in 1977 and renovated in the mid-2000s to make it one of the campus’s most sought-after event and meeting spaces, as well as a popular destination for students and visitors to the school.
An unintended side-effect of the boathouse renovations created conditions that negatively impacted speech intelligibility in the new meeting spaces. The college retained the services of WSDG to diagnose the source of the problem and create a solution that would improve speech intelligibility in the meeting room while still preserving the aesthetic and acoustic ambiance of the boathouse.
The WSDG design team proposed an elegant solution that drastically improved speech intelligibility without noticeably impacting the look of the boathouse interior. After removing the existing wood ceiling and adding insulation and an air gap, the team installed EZ Acoustics 29-3 Plank slatted acoustic materials color matched to the old ceiling. The use of acoustic wood treatment preserved the airy sonic character of the space and the historic look and feel of the room while drastically reduced the overall reverberation time and improved sound frequencies for speech.