In the 1990’s, the Pocono Mountains became a bustling location for urbanites from New York and New Jersey looking to escape city life. As sleepy towns ramped up development to accommodate their new resident families, Northampton Community college in Tannersville, PA realized the need to change as well.
With the opportunity to build a college campus from the ground up, the Northampton Community College paid special attention to serving the needs of its student population. The administration and the architects included the students in decisions to create a campus environment that fit the both the scenic surroundings and the interior comfort as well as fostering collaboration, creativity and learning.
With a focus on academics, acoustics were a key consideration in the teaching spaces. It is well documented that students sitting in acoustically challenged rooms have difficulty hearing the instructors. This impairs their ability to follow instructions and absorb the instructors teaching. One of the best ways to manage room acoustics is through well thought out ceiling design and product selection. Ceilings not only manage the acoustical levels in a room, they also can provide dramatic and inspired design with regard to lighting and visual effects.
This project is a perfect example of form and function and illustrates how learning environments can be enhanced through attention to acoustic design. If you want to learn more about this project, a case study was recently posted that provides a more in depth review of the project.