The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC)
located in Troy, New York, is a new arts center
characterized by its gorgeous glowing glass facade. Designed not only for its innovation in performance arts but also for its cutting edge technologies and green design, the new center is a beacon of light at the university. EMPAC houses multiple venues, a radio station, studios and more inside the prominent glass exterior designed by Grimshaw New York
EMPAC’s mission is to provide high quality space for innovative digital art to change perceptions about the nature of sound and vision. From the protruding, airship-like theatre floating inside the building to the catwalks to the contrast in materials, the arts center is a rich visual landscape. Inside there are five different performance venues: a 1,200-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theater, a black box studio, a white box studio and a dance studio. In addition, the facility houses audio and video editing suites, artists-in-residence studios and the campus radio station.
Built into a steep hillside overlooking the Hudson River, the building is partially below grade and emerges from the ground in an explosion of cross-grained wood and glass. Grimshaw designed the structure in accordance with their environmental management system and includes low energy and sustainable design. The north curtain wall utilizes the largest insulated glass panels as well as glycol-filled mullions used as a heating and condensation-elimination system in winter. The concert hall is clad in sustainably-harvested Western Red Cedar.