Massry Center for the Arts
The Massry Center for the Arts enhances the visibility and exceptional programs offered by The College of Saint Rose, and its prominent position on Madison Avenue in downtown Albany emphasizes the essential connection between the arts, the College, and the community. The building was designed to blend with the adjacent historical structures while utilizing materials that compliment campus architecture.
This state-of-the-art facility is a LEED Gold and is the new home for the Music Department and an exhibit venue for the Art Department. It is a place for the listener and the viewer – an inspiring teaching and learning facility immersing all who enter in the transformative experience of the arts. With a 400-seat Recital Hall, a contemporary 2,200 SF Art Gallery, acoustically engineered rehearsal and practice rooms and interactive smart classroom spaces, the Massry Center for the Arts embodies, the successful partnership between technology, environmental sensibilities and design.
This building is in itself a work of art; a careful composition of incidental and deliberate spaces assembled to create a richly diverse experience for the occupant. The color palette begins with a blank canvas in shades of white to provide a neutral backdrop for artist display. Grounded by earth tones and accentuated by splashes of bold color, the overall scheme of the building is contemporary and fresh, yet respectful of traditional campus architecture. The furniture and textiles were selected to compliment this style and palette. Color and texture are enhanced by the ample quantity of natural light in each space. The artificial lighting utilizes high color rendition lamps to maintain artwork integrity in low daylight conditions.
The experience begins before the doors to the Picotte Recital Hall even open. Undulating stacked soffits and the curved entrance wall, clad in genuine cherry veneer, prominently display custom glass panels and dimensional signage that identify all those who made this tremendous space possible.
Upon entering, the guest is presented with an “intimate and sumptuous” forum for musical performance. Each FSC certified wood panel is custom designed and acoustically accurate for its precise placement in the space. Each seat is engineered to perform acoustically the same, occupied or empty.
Whether it be a single soprano, a jazz ensemble or full orchestra giving a performance, each instrument is clearly heard by the audience in this acoustically flawless space.
The teaching spaces consist of six smart classrooms, two piano labs, 21 individual practice rooms, two percussion studios and three small ensemble studios. Each of these spaces has been designed to provide accurate sound rendition and acoustic isolation.
The walls are constructed utilizing multiple layers of gypsum board and acoustic isolation clips to prevent sound vibrations from passing between adjacent spaces. The ceilings are fiberglass acoustic ceiling tile, specially designed to absorb sound and reduce reverberation in the space. The rubber tile flooring was selected for its underfoot comfort, acoustic properties, and sustainable nature.
Studies show that natural light has a tremendous impact on a student’s ability to learn. These findings have been addressed through the integration of specialized lighting controls. As part of the sustainable design of the building, a compete daylight harvesting system has been installed throughout. This system allows for acute control of lighting levels to take advantage of the solar contributions available in each space.
A facility such as The Massry Center for the Arts does not exist outside of the professional realm. This is, perhaps, most visibly demonstrated in the Center’s Instrument and Choral Rehearsal Rooms. Each of these voluminous spaces is constructed to precisely mimic the acoustical conditions of the Picotte Recital Hall for each type of performance.
Each exquisite space possesses FSC certified Patagonian Rosewood floors, a material that is not only beautiful, but is 174% harder than Red Oak and better able to withstand the abuse of frequently moving furniture and instruments. The panels on the walls are a mixture of custom FSC certified acoustic panels similar to those in the Recital Hall and absorptive fabric panels to help control excessive sound. Ceiling panels are designed for the same function and provide additional visual interest.