In 1992 the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State decided to construct a new building to house the center of acoustical education and additional research programs. They selected Kling-Lindquist Partners, recently renamed KlingStubbins of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be the architects. Marshall Long Acoustics was selected to be the acoustical audio visual engineers and Vibron, Ltd., of Toronto, Canada, was selected to do the vibration control engineering for the Underwater Test Facilities.
The acoustical and audio visual engineering included a large lecture hall. The lecture hall design solution was interesting since the architect’s original configuration was quite good with a flat ceiling and a sloped seating area. We recommended a hard ceiling for strong overhead reflections with absorbent wall panels to control reverberation. We also designed a loudspeaker system to cover the front part of the audience and added delayed ceiling speakers in the back half of the seating area. We wanted a convex reflecting surface above the small platform stage so we designed a perforated metal panel with a solid Plexiglas sheet behind the lower portion. The loudspeakers were placed behind the perforations and so were invisible while remaining clearly audible. The lecture hall behaved quite well in spite of its large capacity. Most lecturers find that they can use it without the sound system.