Reaching 95 percent of the state’s population, New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) is one of the area’s top resources for news and information. After expanding from 13 employees and a classical music format to about 40 full-time employees focusing primarily on news and information, NHPR needed more space as well as a facility more suited to its new format. RBDG was involved from the beginning of the relocation process with selection and design of the new space.
Initially, RBDG helped NHPR develop an architectural program for the station to use as a benchmark when looking at potential properties for their new home. One important requirement: the location needed to have enough room to accommodate a large, multi-purpose community space for staff meetings and fundraising phone banks. By first taking the time to find a building that was really the right fit for the station, NHPR avoided a lot of potential pitfalls and was able to tailor the project to fit the station’s needs and budget.
The new broadcast center features two large control rooms, four smaller control rooms, three studios and one large multipurpose room/studio for community and special events. The larger control rooms are able to accommodate three to four people producing news coverage. The studios have seating for five guests and a host. The small control rooms each have space for a board operator and two guests. Along with offices and other support areas, the facility doubles the square footage of the station’s former location.
NHPR wanted to visually connect the multipurpose room with the main on-air control room to accommodate the recording and broadcast of musical performances and events such as “town hall” meetings. A large window from the main on-air control room helps to facilitate this connection. Since the station’s new location is on the building’s top floor, RBDG’s design also had to address possible noise transmission through the roof, especially from mechanical equipment in the penthouse above.