Northeastern University

Fenway Center for Performing Arts

Boston, MA

Northeastern University’s Fenway Center, previously St. Ann’s Church, underwent major renovations including the installation of a large screen digital projector, professional light and sound systems, and a ticket booth. The building has excellent acoustics and is an ideal place for performances. The Fenway Center plays host to many functions, including choral groups, dance teams, lectures, orchestral ensembles, and community church services on Sundays.

AFK evaluated and replaced the existing heating only steam system, which was an original feature of the building. The mechanical system was very loud, interrupting acoustics from practices and performances that took place in the performance hall. The event space also struggled with control over temperature, with complaints of it being too warm during performances, especially during the warmer months.

To address the concerns of the end-user of the performance hall, AKF provided a design for a new 20,000 CFM air handler, located in the basement. Cooling was provided through a new grade mounted modular air-cooled chiller. Due to the dense urban environment, the chiller was located directly next to the building but was designed with customized acoustical baffling and sound dampening measures to meet both the neighborhood and performance sound requirements.  

In order to preserve the beauty of the historic building and achieve the target goal of NC 20 sound requirement, AKF worked closely with the acoustical consultant to provide creative solutions to meet the challenges associated with retrofitting a state of the art ventilation and cooling system into an older building not designed to accommodate professional performances.  

Technical Statistics

OWNER: Northeastern University
PROJECT NAME: Fenway Center for Performing Arts
INDUSTRIES: Arts & Culture, Education
Northeastern Fenway