Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
EMPAC Theater

Photo Credit: ESTO


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.

  • Client: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Project Category: Performing Arts Centers
  • Architect: Grimshaw Architects
  • Arch. of Record: Davis Brody Bond
  • Completion Year: 2008
  • Location: Troy, New York
  • Acoustician: Kirkegaard

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