Museum of the Moving Image
New York, NY
A media museum located in Queens required new acoustical panels for its new 267-seat theater, part of a 3-year $67million renovation of a structure located in the former Astoria Studios complex and designed by Leeser Architects. Instead of being a traditional box-shaped theater, it is organic and steeply curved, with walls and ceilings made of nearly 1137 triangular, felt-covered panels, which had to be lightweight, strong, adjustable to many configurations, and covered in felt to meet the sound-absorbing requirements, and fabricated within budget.
The shape of the theater demanded the usage of a number of uniquely shaped panels, which cover the ceiling, curve down to form the wall, and could not be fabricated using a single mold but required several. To keep costs down, there needed to be as few molds as possible. These technical and budgetary challenges prevented other firms from participating, but Moore + Friesl agreed to develop these panels for Leeser Architects following a strict budget.
Moore + Friesl’s panels feature an aluminum frame capped by a vacuum-formed, fire-rated thermoplastic shell, which is wrapped in a liner, foam, and felt. The result is a visually-striking, enveloping space that guides the audience to focus on the screen, with excellent acoustical and sound-absorbing properties that enhances the viewer’s sensory experience. Completed in 2011, this project took Moore + Friesl 5 months from start to finish.