Case Study

Grand Rapids Community College


The Secchia Piazza is located in Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The space is used by students, faculty, staff, and the greater community for a wide range of events.

Global USS and RealAcoustix worked with Progressive AE on this unique project to incorporate DeAmp Translucent Sound Absorbing Panels into the “skycone” of Secchia Piazza.

Project Details:

  • Overall Project Budget: $5,000,000 USD
  • Size: 3,600 sq ft (334 sq m)
  • Status: Complete

Project Description

The redesign of Secchia Piazza was created by architect Ned Baxter of Progressive AE and was built by Granger Construction. Secchia Piazza has been renovated to create an iconic 31-foot-wide and 15-foot-tall “skycone”, which has become a landmark of the Grand Rapids skyline.

The “skycone’s” unique shape and materials required an acoustic engineering solution to minimize sound reflections. The Acoustic Consultant, ABD Engineering, specified DeAmp Translucent Sound Absorbers to be installed in the “skycone” to address this challenge.


Scope of Work

  • The 40 custom trapagon-shaped panels were designed to ensure that the sound-absorbing micro-slits pattern of the DeAmp panels matched the geometry of the “skycone”. 
  • Custom resilient mounts were designed and supplied to address the unique challenges of the “skycone”.
  • The panels were UV ink printed to accurately match the seven colours of the Secchia Piazza’s glazing.


Interested in learning more? 

To assist with a layman’s understanding of the acoustic environment, we chose to have a “balloon pop” demonstration performed before and after the acoustic treatment installation.

We understand that a “balloon pop” is not a standard acoustic method of testing. However, everyone has a memory of what a balloon pop sounds like in some environment.

By listening to the balloon pop comparisons, anyone can hear the acoustic environment before and after installation.

When listening to the video, please ensure your volume is turned up, or use headphones.

Before Installation

After Installation

Additional Information

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