Page 64 - Winter 2020
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 Figure 6. Open plan work area with flexible furniture for individual and group work in a twenty-first-century library, Alfred R. Goldstein Library, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL (Shepley Bullfinch, Architects). It is located off the main vertical circulation space in an area with a lower, sound-absorbent ceiling to create a smaller acoustical room within the larger space.
for those inside the room and for those who may be listening remotely via video conference via different platforms (Figure 6).
There is a learning commons on each of the first two floors that is a flexible space that can be reconfigured for different teaching and working modalities. Sonic niches for active learning involving fabrication, collaborative discussion, and other formats use distance, absorbent materials, and zoning to create transitions to adjacent uses to limit sound bleed into and out of the spaces to the extent possible.
The dynamic interior soundscape extends outdoors at each level where reading and study areas are shaded and covered at each level. This allows the exterior soundscape to interact with the interior soundscape during the mild Florida climate for many months of the year.
The stacks and reading areas are still essential parts of the library so that sonic niches for individual reading and study are included within the larger spaces. These include furniture designed to form an acoustical space that can be inhabited by a person and blocks sounds coming from the sides and rear, absorbent finishes on the ceiling, and carpeted floor, with distance and transparent glass walls separating more private areas from more public areas (Figure 7).
Special collections including rare books, map rooms, document libraries, archives, advanced research areas, and back of house spaces were given their own acoustic rooms, with solid and glazed walls separating them
from the main public spaces so that a relatively quiet environment was achieved. Acoustical finishes were included in the rooms to allow quiet study for individuals using the rooms.
Future Directions
Future directions could include quantitative and qualitative research on how acoustical buffers and transitions are perceived for different specific acoustic events and communication scenarios that occur in the library. Explorations of how the impulse response and quantitative acoustical metrics are related as one creates acoustical niches within larger spaces and how multiple acoustical rooms can be developed within a larger architectural room to achieve a balance between fostering collaborations and group exploration using a variety of aural media while allowing space for one to study and find a place of quiet would be helpful in this and many other evolving building types. Continued efforts at pre- and postoccupancy evaluations of the buildings using focus group discussions, interviews, questionnaires, and other qualitative research methods should be encouraged. Organized acoustical measurements using directional sound sources similar to actual speech and media propagation to identify specific communication paths and acoustical commissioning that addresses these issues should become more widely understood and standardized.
The large, open spaces with multiple uses of the library of the twenty-first century require acoustical design
64 Acoustics Today • Winter 2020

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