Belmont University

When Belmont University decided to create new facilities for the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business – one of the premier programs in the nation for future entertainment industry professionals – they turned to RBDG, who designed the program’s first recording studio nearly 30 years ago.

The result is the R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center, and its centerpiece is a 250-seat motion picture mixing theater, the first Dolby Atmos encoding environment to be installed on a university campus. In addition to the theater, the four-story 134,000-square-foot building houses a wide range of technical spaces and support facilities that are essential to the students’ creation of media content, including: a TV production control room, a motion capture studio, screening and mixing theatres, a color correction suite, a multipurpose media focus lab and entertainment research center, a motion picture sound stage, more than twenty student edit bays, a Foley/ADR studio, a television production studio and virtual set, a music history display, creative and collaborative classroom spaces, and the University’s primary cafeteria and dining hall.

“Since it houses such a variety of functions, this building presented a number of acoustic and sound isolation challenges,” says Richard Schrag, RBDG project manager. “When you think about putting a state-of-the-art motion picture theatre, a cafeteria, specialized laboratories and classrooms on top of a parking garage, there are a number of competing design elements that must be satisfied simultaneously.”

The University received LEED Gold certification for the new building, which features a geothermal heating and cooling system.