Opened in 1987 on the historic Dominion Bridge property, Bridge Studios features 12 sound stages, and has hosted thousands of film and television productions during its three decades of operation. BKL consulted on the acoustical design of the original effects stage and sound stages, and over the years, has continued to provide acoustical advice for Bridge Studios on both new and existing buildings. Here is a look at some of BKL’s recent work.
In 2018, after demolishing the original John Thomas Special Effects Stage, Bridge opened a new building that’s home to three 17,000 square foot sound stages (10, 11, and 12), plus workshops, offices, and plenty of storage space for sets and costumes.
For the Stage 10/11/12 facility, BKL provided a range of acoustical design services, including room acoustics and exterior noise isolation. The team reviewed building plans, and made recommendations for wall treatments, door construction and seals, and window seals. Furthermore, BKL’s acousticians analyzed the roof design to adequately control noise from the adjacent Sky Train line and to ensure rainfall noise wouldn’t affect studio productions.
BKL also consulted on the interior sound stages, making recommendations for demising walls and doors. Because Bridge required a 40′ x 40′ door between each stage, BKL found products that would meet the sound attenuation requirements. In this, BKL provided Bridge with a couple of options, identifying both an acoustical door system and an alternative, interlocking panel wall system, which was more budget friendly.
Exterior of Stages 10/11/12.
In addition, BKL made recommendations for acoustical treatment within the sound stages. This treatment improved the spaces’ reverberation times while being highly suitable for a production studio: It doesn’t flake off and show up on film. What’s more, BKL suggested specs for the duct sizes, construction, lining, and dampers to control noise from building services.
Isolating noise from carpentry and set shops, as well as other workshops was a crucial aspect of the building’s acoustical design, as was preventing noise from SkyTrain and nearby roadways from impacting the sound stages. In this, BKL’s acousticians drew from the firm’s collective experience working with Bridge Studios, and its significant knowledge of SkyTrain noise, to provide recommendations that would suitably control noise from both internal and external sources, and provide Bridge with an ideal acoustical environment for movie production.
Interior of Stage 10.
BKL provided acoustical design services for Bridge’s forthcoming Stage 8, the studio’s latest sound stage. Stage 8 is slated to be built next to Stage 7 and will include a sound stage, set and costume shops, and office spaces on Levels 2 and 3.
The BKL team analyzed Stage 8’s exterior envelope to ensure that external noise from sources like rainfall, road traffic, and SkyTrain wouldn’t impact the in-studio acoustical environment. Moreover, the firm made suggestions for appropriate doors and door seals, and specified acoustical treatment for the building’s exhaust vents and the vestibules between the stage and the exterior door.
Inside the studio, BKL reviewed plans for the demising wall to ensure it will provide sufficient isolation between the stages. The team also checked the wall and roof design for paths that could carry structure-borne noise between adjacent the studios.
To control reverberation times, BKL suggested adding acoustical lining and spray-on acoustic insulation to all four walls. Since some spray insulations can flake off and affect film quality, BKL recommended specific products for their suitability in film production applications. Likewise, treatment was specified for the adjacent set and costume shops, as well as offices and stairwells.
Furthermore, BKL reviewed the primary rooftop unit for Stage 8, and predicted interior noise levels based on available data from the unit’s manufacturer. This analysis revealed that noise from this unit could potentially affect all users, including film crews, so BKL provided acoustical treatment options, such as duct lining and silencers—that would help control the impacts of this noise.
While BKL didn’t provide the original design work for Stage 9, the firm was hired to assess a number of issues with external noise—from sources like rainfall, SkyTrain, road traffic, and aircraft—that were affecting the building’s usability as a sound stage.
Exterior of Stage 9.
BKL visited the site, visually inspected the building, including its external walls and roof, and took measurements to determine the sound isolation performance of the envelope. The acoustician found that noise made by passing aircraft and SkyTrains, as well as rainfall, were the primary noise sources.
After highlighting the specific trouble spots, the acoustics team made recommendations to mitigate noise ingress in those areas. Notably, Stage 9’s roof wasn’t sufficiently controlling aircraft and rainfall noise. Because the roof was slated for reconstruction, BKL consulted on the new roof to ensure its acoustical performance.
Once the recommended upgrades to the building envelope were made, BKL conducted follow-up measurements and found that the envelope’s ability to isolate sound was significantly improved.
Through the years, for various projects including new studio builds, sound stage renovations, and noise complaint investigations, BKL has provided expert advice on room acoustics, sound isolation, mechanical system noise control, and more, helping Bridge Studios create an exceptional acoustical environment that meets the high standards of film production.
101,000 square feet
13,000 square feet
653,400 square feet