Room acoustics criteria and measurements of lobbies and atria for various building types



The lobby or atrium for a building may serve many purposes — entryway, welcome area, circulation zone, and architectural point of interest. Increasingly, lobbies and atria serve more and more functions: gathering area, presentation area, music and event space, study area, and dining, among other uses. Since variable acoustics in lobby spaces are not typically feasible or desirable, the acoustical design of lobby spaces must strike a balance for the variety of events planned for the space.

Working with design teams and owners to understand the needs of each space, acoustical design criteria evolve based on project-specific needs and previous experience. In this presentation, lobbies are considered for various building types, including education facilities, student commons, museums, and performing arts buildings. In addition to studies of existing spaces and modeling of buildings in design, this presentation expands on the authors’ previous efforts by documenting the measured reverberation and background noise in several lobbies and atria after the completion of design and construction.