Page 63 - Winter 2020
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  Figure 5. View of central stair from the side with an acoustical niche that allows quiet, clear conversation at the main circulation desk with a lower sound absorbent ceiling just off the main space at the Alfred R. Goldstein Library, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL (Shepley Bullfinch, Architects). The circulation desk is tucked in a lower ceiling space under the stair in the center of the photograph. The elevator is located on the left side of the photograph in the exhibit wall. The main circulation space is oriented vertically in the building that the stair (i.e., the means of people to circulate vertically) occupies. The major library functions are connected to the main circulation space at each level. The black walls of the stair railing bend up and to the side of the image as the stair moves upward through the large opening in the second floor near the top of the image. The stair continues up to the third floor, beyond the top of the photograph.
  Figure 4. Main entry/circulation space in twenty-first- century library, the Alfred R. Goldstein Library, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL (Shepley Bullfinch, Architects). The photograph shows a unique view of the underside of the stair (black angled shape) looking upward in the main space that has been deliberately foreshortened to create the abstract pattern shown. The concentric rectangular openings in the upper floors are penetrated by the stair as it moves upward through the space. The round lights (skylights) are on the upper ceiling of the space. Looking closely, you can see the underside of the ceilings with acoustical ceiling tiles visible around the perimeter of the central space of two floors above the ground floor. The dynamics of this central space make it a vibrant accent to visually orient people to the library.
There is an exhibit space on the first floor that serves as a vibrant backdrop for social activities. Sounds from the exhibit space propagating to the other spaces around the central core are controlled through the use of subtle, integrated acoustical finishes.
There are also two multipurpose rooms on the first floor that are used for a variety of classroom activities, meetings, guest lectures, performances, and other activities, with multimedia intensive audio and video systems that can produce high sound levels for student film, video, and art installation showings. The rooms have moveable furniture so that flexible furniture arrangements can be configured for the different uses. Special sonic niches were created for the unique requirements of these rooms as closed acoustical systems. Special sound isolation systems were included for the walls, doors, and floor/ceiling assembly
above to limit sound bleed out of the rooms during aural media events to adjacent spaces. Special acoustical finish systems were also used to control the reflected and reverberant sounds and to optimize the sound field in the room for all listeners based on the types, locations, and aiming of the audiovisual system loudspeakers.
Similar sonic niches were also created on each floor for group study, for multimedia development and viewing rooms, for collaborative work on projects, and as audio listening rooms. Sound-isolating wall, door, and floor/ ceiling assemblies are used so that higher sound levels can be played while developing and/or listening to aural media of different types and sound bleed into the main spaces is minimized. Interior acoustical finishes tuned to the loudspeaker playback systems optimize the listening environment to provide clear, intelligible communication
Winter 2020 • Acoustics Today 63

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