Project Description


A next generation-Internet2 Distance Learning Facility created by the Walters-Storyk Design Group went online at NYC’s Hunter College Gene Center. Driven by high-speed Internet2 transmission, the new complex spearheads real-time collaborative experimentation and teaching projects within the international Gene Research community.

Dr. Robert Dottin, Ph.D., Director of the Center for the Study of Gene Structure & Function reports that the new Distance Learning Facility presents formidable interactive communication advances enabling scientists to exchange, observe and discuss complex data with extremely high visual and audio quality and absolute real-time connectivity. “Internet2 speed, reliability and clarity will enable us to virtually share the same laboratory with colleagues at over 200 universities around the world,” Dr. Dottin said.

To transform 1100 sq. ft. on the 3rd floor of the Hunter College campus at Park Ave. and 69th Street in Manhattan into an interactive conference room/studio, architect/acoustician John Storyk introduced a variety of solutions to NYC’s noise-intensive environment. The WSDG team worked closely with Dr. Dottin, Facility Manager Carlos Lijeron and Hunter Gene Center Program Manager Jeanne Waxman, to optimize the space and meet all of their specific design requirements.

“Because this facility will generate highly technical dialogues, we drew heavily from our extensive experience in developing critical listening and viewing environments for professional broadcast, performance and recording studio environments,” Storyk said. “These include a modified ‘room-within-a-room’ program with soundproof doors, state-of-the-art acoustic ceiling treatments and dual interior windows to create a ‘sound lock’ similar though on a smaller scale, to our solution for the new Jazz At Lincoln Center production facilities. We also recommended a moveable ‘sound curtain’ to further screen street noise leakage.”

In addition to acoustical and full facility planning, WSDG worked closely with the Hunter College team to develop a unique collection of multi-purpose furniture. Wired for ‘full function’ computer, phone, audio and video connectivity, these eight two-person ‘smart desks’ are capable of multiple configurations in