Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, Noise Abatement and Library

Flushing, New York

Client: Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Federal Aviation Administration and Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, situated across Grand Central Parkway from LaGuardia Airport in New York City, required an extensive upgrade to mitigate noise and vibration levels from aircraft traffic. ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,725FEATURED IN2015 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation minimally constructed, acoustically transparent building had failed to soundproof against airborne noises disruptive to a learning environment.

The successful acoustical design, funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, now attenuates sound levels across a range of wavelengths with a significantly increased roof mass and thickened exterior cladding along the sprawling campus. The new facade integrates three types of surface materials found in previous independent additions to visually unify the building.

Soundproofing upgrades necessary to the interior provided an opportunity to re-envision the existing, outdated, cramped library as a modern and expansive Library & Learning Resource Center. A large acoustical skylight over an open stair draws natural light into the first floor to maintain a sense of airiness, and casual, connected seating areas foster a collaborative interdisciplinary learning environment. Careful planning and close coordination with the college administration ensured that school operations continued during construction.