select renovations

Institute of Audio Research


This project was a logistically complicated series of renovations in an occupied academic building.  Working closely with students, administrators and construction management, meticulous planning and hands-on project supervision enabled us to deliver renovations on time and within budget.

Founded in 1969, the Institute for Audio Research (IAR) is a music and recording arts school located south of Union Square on University Place.  Advances in recording technology and electronic music had left the school with outdated facilities that jeopardized accreditation.  Because of the school’s non-traditional schedule of classes and semesters, renovations were planned in multiple phases over nights and weekends to minimize disruption to the school.

After redesigning the school’s entrance lobby and circulation stair, subsequent renovations focused on student space, instructional space and administrative offices.  Renovations to instructional space included smart classrooms, recording studios and audio labs.  Redesigned and consolidated administrative spaces included financial aid, admissions and deans’ offices.  In addition to space for students to listen to music, the new library and student lounge provide students with spaces designed for creation, performance and collaboration.

Designs for the project drew inspiration from students’ interactive digital musical performances as well as digital and analog recording technologies.  The character of the renovation came from a palette of readily available, cost-effective materials and fixtures creatively juxtaposed. 

To inspire students and encourage stair use (and avoid costly elevator upgrades) stair landings within the primary circulation stair were lined with oversized gold records awarded to past and present IAR faculty. 



Institute for Audio Research

project budget

project square footage

scope of services
• architectural design
• graphic design
• lighting design


see also:

learning space

student space

graphic design and wayfinding