updated 12/2/2010 2:46:26 PM ET 2010-12-02T19:46:26

NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alcon Builders Group recently completed construction on the Baryshnikov Arts Center or BAC, a stunning performance space that sets the bar on many levels: aesthetics, acoustics, technology and sustainability. Named for its iconic artistic director, the legendary choreographer/performer Mikhail Baryshnikov, under the umbrella of the Jerome Robbins Theater complex, the soon to be certified Gold LEED space creates a synergy that enhances the experience for both the audience and the performers.

Patrick Boland, president of Alcon Builders Group, says: "The goal was to create a space worthy of both the name and the vision of Mikhail Baryshnikov. We were scrupulously careful from preconstruction due diligence through execution; and adhered to the plans conceived by WASA/Studio A architects and Arup Engineering."

The task for the retrofit was daunting and ambitious: transform what was essentially a concrete box -- a generic, nondescript, acoustically dead space into an aesthetically pleasing performance arena that is one of, if not the most, technically advanced New York City theatres. The result has been hailed as "perfect", "dynamic and magnetizing", even "ravishing." 

BAC Executive Director Stanford Makishi says, "The miracle of the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center would not have been possible without all the members of our stellar team of professionals… At every stage of the project, Alcon Builders Group demonstrated a quiet confidence and remarkable ability to satisfy all our demands, no matter how extraordinary. .. [W]orking on an accelerated schedule while keeping our building fully operational to our many patrons …Alcon made the vast tangle of trades about as invisible as they possibly could be… Alcon's President Patrick Boland, Vice President of Operations John Dwyer, Project Manager Bill Conklin, and Project Superintendent Bob Schoendorf delivered spectacularly on every promise that things would be done …well, on time, and within budget… "

The team's utilization of Revit, 3-D model software, helped deliver the gut renovation on a fast-track 32-week schedule. Explains Dwyer, "A problem can be viewed and corrected before any work is done."

To achieve the desired audience/performer intimacy the seating configuration needed to allow for unobstructed sightlines from any vantage point and positioning the balcony low to offer a sense of proximity. Says Conklin, "The structural steel for the seating had to be positioned to a sixteenth of an inch." 

Custom-calibrated acoustics, including a spring-loaded floor with isolators, were pre-tested in a sound lab. A digitally-controlled and fully motorized rigging system able to accommodate 1750 lbs. and a winch speed of 20 feet per minute allows for multiple set changes. A sophisticated system of distributed lighting includes an extensive complement of dimmers. Ductwork is functional and integrated into the center's style.

A LEED Gold rating is expected for sustainability achieved from demolition (dust control, recyclable materials) through construction –use of local suppliers and eco-friendly, recyclable materials.

CONTACT:  QED Associates LLC 
          Evelyn Mertens

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