Acentech to design the acoustics for the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts expansion in Detroit


CAMBRIDGE, MA— Acentech has been selected to design the acoustics for the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts expansion in Detroit, Michigan. Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) is the architect for this exciting revitalization of Detroit’s leading not-for-profit cultural center, which is scheduled to open to the public in 2026.

The original 1928 Art Deco Music Hall, host to national theatrical companies and dozens of touring performing artists and musicians every year, was rescued from the wrecking ball in the 1970s and restored to its full glory in 1995. Its arts-driven legacy inspired Executive Director Vince Paul to expand the hall’s offerings to include spaces for cutting-edge music performance, and production and public spaces that will host a wide range of arts and cultural programs.

The eight floor, 100,000 SF new building will include a 1,400-seat performance venue for a diverse mix of popular music, 200-seat flexible recital hall, recording and practice studios, leasable office space, welcome center, box office, music academy, two restaurants (including one that will function as a nightclub after dark), and a music instrument store. The new building will be built next to the original Music Hall, connected by enclosed aerial walkways, and will feature a floating canopy, covered outdoor terraces, and a rooftop restaurant with indoor/outdoor seating and views of the Detroit skyline.

Acentech’s acousticians welcome the challenge to design acoustics and noise control solutions for spaces with a such wide variety of uses. The building’s program is highly stacked, and the various program elements will operate simultaneously, vibrantly, and (often) around the clock. The sound of music and activity will imbue every area of the building, while at the same time allow for simultaneous use of adjacent spaces. The team’s central focus is to create spaces with beautiful acoustics, and to protect the project’s many noise-sensitive areas – from recording studios, performance and rehearsal rooms to executive offices – from intrusive sounds.

“The Detroit Music Hall Expansion will energize the city through the arts: a vibrant, pulsing building that invites the community and visitors in, meets them where they are, and wows and entertains and educates them. Great sound and awesome technology are central to these goals: a building that exudes and embraces sound, that presents every genre of musical performance, and that welcomes all. We are excited to be a part of this arts-inspired and music-focused project!” said Benjamin Markham, FASA, President of Acentech and lead acoustician for the project.