Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
EMPAC Theater
Theatre at EMPAC
Client:Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Project Category:PAC Second Venues
Architect:Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners
Arch. of Record:Davis Brody Bond
Completion Year:2008
Location:Troy, New York
Lighting:OVI - Office for Visual Interaction
Acoustician:Kirkegaard and Associates
Building Size:220,000 s.f.
Capacity:400 seats
Rensselaer is providing EMPAC with a unique building, offering facilities that can be found nowhere else under a single roof.

With a 40' x 80' stage and a 70' fly tower complete with computer-controlled rigging, the theater is equipped to the highest standards available to professional theater companies and offers an extraordinary resource for Rensselaer's experimental artists and student performers.

The theater can be used with or without its orchestra pit. Movable seating at the parterre level, along the sides, allows artists to configure the theater as a proscenium space or to extend the playing area along the sides of the audience. The framing of the side galleries accommodates the attachment of projection screens and loudspeakers, allowing the audience to be immersed in virtual environments.  Finished with maple floors and high-quality plaster walls, the theater has a slightly less formal treatment than the concert hall, so that its architectural presence can recede when the stage lights come up.