Altschul Auditorium

School of International Affairs

Altschul Auditorium is a 400-seat auditorium/classroom design that served as a prototype for a capital program upgrading classrooms throughout the university to provide state of the art multimedia capabilities.

One of the primary goals was to provide an intimate teaching environment for large classes by minimizing the need for amplified sound. Through the use of a computer generated acoustical model of the space, certain material and geometry characteristics were developed which influenced the final design. A custom gradated perforated pattern on the wall panels, which were fabricated directly from design files, allowed sound to reflect from the front of the space and be absorbed toward the back. The curved ceiling geometry also reinforced the sound projection throughout the space creating evenly distributed sound levels suitable for both teaching and large events.


Like many institutional projects, construction was completed during the summer on all of these projects when the programs and uses would be least affected.


New York, NY


Columbia University




4,500 sqft

MFA Design Team

Scott Marble, Karen Fairbanks, Todd Rouhe, Scott Paterson

MEP Engineer


Acoustical Engineer

Arup Acoustics

General Contractor

E.W. Howell

CNC Acoustical Panels

Peterson, Geller, Spurge


Eduard Hueber / Arch Photo, Inc.