David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center

Tarrytown, NY

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has adapted the historic 1908 Orangerie on the Rockefeller family’s former estate along the Hudson River into a performing and visual arts center. The building supports work in dance, music, drama, visual arts, and media arts. The facility operates through all four seasons and hosts public performances and events in an acoustically supportive and flexible hall. Acoustic treatments hidden within the custom designed wood slat ceilings diffuse and reflect sound for optimum performance. Upper walls are treated with porous acoustic plaster that seamlessly blends with lower level durable plaster surfaces.

The acoustically treated sliding barn door separates the indoor and outdoor performance spaces to both isolate sound and diffuse sound reflections from the stage. Moveable seating provides flexibility for both indoor and outdoor use. A new pavilion connected to the original building along the southeastern façade will house restroom and storage facilities; the pavilion’s basement will house mechanical space.

AV systems for the DRCAC are a hybrid approach of a flexible black box theater type of space and a media presentation space that can function quickly and easily when needed, more in the style of a lecture hall that can be operated by a layperson during a simple event. For production systems, there is a combination of traditional theater speaker systems and an overhead grid of loudspeakers that can function as monitors, effects, surround sound, or distributed overhead coverage when the retractable seats are stored. The outdoor sound system can function independently or as an extension of the system in the theater.

Project Information

13,000 SF
Multipurpose Performance Spaces
Flexible Art Studio

Design Team

Architect: FXCollaborative
Historic Preservation Architect: Saltzman Architects
Theater Consultant: Fisher Dachs Associates

Scope of Work

Room Acoustics
Sound Isolation
Sound and Vibration Control
Audio/Video Systems Design


Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF)

Completion Date


Sustainability Rating

LEED Platinum