Berklee College of Music, Percussion Department Studios

Boston, Massachusetts

  • FIRM

    Miller Dyer Spears


    Berklee College of Music

  • AREA

    10,000 sq.ft.





Berklee College of Music is the world’s largest independent music college, situated in the Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods of Boston. Days before the fall 2005 semester began, rainstorms spinning off from Hurricane Katrina flooded the 10,000-square-foot basement of the 1140 Boylston Street building, significantly damaging the percussion department studios, performance ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$370.00FEATURED IN2007 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYAuditoriums/Music Rooms and offices. Through an extensive renovation, the architect transformed the basement spaces of this century-old hotel into state-of-the-art facilities, which have become the most popular performance classrooms and private lesson studios on campus.

The design approach enlivened the complex by introducing new materials and lighting, and optimizing acoustical performance for its demanding users and sensitive abutters. Massive granite-block foundation walls were uncovered and left exposed in the performance classrooms and private lesson studios. Performance spaces were resized to optimize sound quality and also incorporate carefully tuned acoustic panels, which were customized for each room. Acoustically appropriate glass doors were specified on these rooms to bring transparency and vibrancy. In addition, inadequate ventilation and HVAC systems were replaced, and water infiltration, building systems and structural issues were improved.

Delivered on a fast-track schedule, the renovated studios were open in time for the start of the college’s fall 2006 semester.