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The Roger Williams University (RWU) Community Partnerships Center (CPC) formed its project partnership with Trinity Restoration Inc in the spring of 2013. The CPC was asked to explore design ideas and create graphics for the theater space. The CPC assigned two students from RWU’s School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation to analyze the existing conditions and use their knowledge of architecture and historic preservation to assist with the project development. The project allowed the students to apply their training while receiving hands-on learning and providing project-based assistance.


Problems: (1) Sound travels very quick around the curve of the wall creating a disproportional amount of sound on the opposite ends of the arc. (2) Sounds that start in front of the curve gets reflected back to a focal point. The location of that focal point moves depending on where the sound is located. As a result, loud refocused echoes are created at the focal point. When heard, the sounds seem to come from a mysterious place. The effects of the curved walls are extremely strong and need to be addressed. One common mistake is over applying absorptive material to the walls. This solves the focal point problem but creates a “dead wall” problem.