Musician/philanthropist Herb Alpert, co-founder with his wife, Lani Hall, of the Herb Alpert Foundation, is funding the core element of the $9.5 million Harlem School of the Arts — Renaissance Project. Following discussions with WSDG Founding Partner, John Storyk, the Alpert’s were convinced that the leading architectural/acoustic/systems design firm embodied a philosophical synergy that fully aligned with their goals for the school building’s renovation.
WSDG Partner/COO/Project Manager, Joshua Morris describes the scope of the project as, «An ambitious opportunity to establish a multi-purpose performance space for Harlem School of the Arts students. When completed the building’s 3,500 square-foot main lobby will feature a two-story high glass wall facing St. Nicholas Avenue», he adds.
Projected for completion in 2020, the renovation of the entire 45,600 square-foot building will be highlighted by the replacement 40-year-old building’s original two-story «Brutalist-style» brick exterior. That structure will be replaced by a double-height, glass wall angled at 5-degrees off the vertical, and analogous to the Allen Room which WSDG helped create for the Jazz at Lincoln Center. The design will help to establish a unique acoustically «tuned» performance environment. When completed, this dramatic space will serve as the focal point for a multiplicity of musical, dance and theatrical performances. Concurrent to the Harlem School Of The Arts Renaissance project, WSDG is developing the acoustic design for a small theater, in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. HSA redesign team was lead by Celia Imrey of Imrey Studio, a NY-based firm recognized for its work on museum and library design.