Inside National Sawdust

Bureau V’s design maintains the building’s rough historic brick exterior while providing a refined new interior: a flexible, acoustically-driven, intimate chamber hall can accommodate 120-170 seated patrons, cabaret seating, or 350 standing guests. The venue can hold a 70-piece orchestra for rehearsals and recordings, and will house two bars and a restaurant featuring James Beard Award-winning chef Patrick Connolly.

Acoustically designed by Arup to accommodate a range of repertoire, both amplified and unplugged, National Sawdust has the optimum balance of sound absorbing, diffusing, and reflecting finishes for an enriched acoustic experience. The entire building is connected via audio, video, and data tie lines. This point-to-point infrastructure allows an engineer to be situated in either the sound and light control room or the production room and record artists in all the interior spaces.

The Original Sawdust Factory

Bureau V – Architects

Brooklyn-based design studio has created architecture, objects, performances, installations and events for institutions and artists including the Montello Foundation, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Arto Lindsay and Mary Ping, among many others. The studio’s collaborative works have been exhibited or performed at institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Venice Biennale of Art, Inhotim, Performa and REDCAT.

Peter Zuspan is a founding principal of the studio. He has taught architecture at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Kentucky’s College of Design, and Syracuse University. Zuspan, a member of National Sawdust’s Board of Directors, is also a trained opera singer.

Arup Acoustics – Acoustic and Theatrical Consultants

As an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists, Arup offers a broad range of professional services that combine to make a real difference to their clients and the communities in which they work. Arup Acoustics is one of the world’s most respected acoustic consultancies in the world. With U.S. teams in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, they leverage the practical knowledge of over 30 years’ worth of global experience as an industry leader in planning and design. Arup works in every area of acoustics, from advanced noise and vibration mitigation to optimization of performer and audience acoustic experience in acoustically critical performance venues, audio system integration in large public transit facilities and more. Their highly interactive style of collaborative design benefits clients across market areas ranging from performing arts and museums to education, business, healthcare, transportation, leisure, sports and multimedia.