Classical KING FM
CLASSICAL KING FM 98.1
Classical KING FM's new home transformed existing shell space within the Seattle Opera Center into a dynamic suite of broadcast studios, open offices, and collaboration spaces that integrates well with the Opera Center while creating a distinct identify for KING FM. The broadcast studios were designed as boxes-within-boxes, each carefully tuned to provide excellent broadcast capabilities and maintain acoustic isolation from adjoining spaces, including the Opera Center’s nearby scene shops and performance spaces. To enhance engagement with the Opera Center, KING FM’s broadcast studios are situated adjacent to the primary open stair: a prominent window from the Master Control Room engages passersby and provides the DJ’s welcome visual relief and natural light. Live ‘in-studio’ performances occur within the Opera’s adjoining rehearsal studios. New emergency generators and dedicated mechanical systems were integrated within the existing building to accommodate 24-7 operations and uninterrupted broadcasting during power outages.
The fast-track project was completed in 9 months from start of design in March 2019 through completion of primary construction in December 2019. Broadcast system integration and move-in was completed on schedule, enabling KING FM to commence broadcasting in February 2020. While the Covid-19 pandemic hit within weeks of KING FM moving into their new home, the flexible space configuration and high-quality mechanical systems combined with partial remote-working arrangements enabled KING-FM to operate continuously and very successfully throughout the pandemic.
Key design collaborators included Utter Associates, broadcast consultants; Stantec, acoustic consultants; and Studio Matthews graphic designers. Sellen Construction was the general contractor, Prime Electric was the electrical design-builder, and Holaday Parks was the mechanical design-builder. Jim Duncan, a KING FM board member, provided project management services. ORA also collaborated closely with Opera Center architects NBBJ to relate well with the Opera Center’s aesthetic while creating a distinct identity for KING FM. ORA had been consulting theater architect to NBBJ during programming and early design for the Opera Center, so the KING FM integration was a natural extension of that collaboration. The Opera Center’s sustainable design approach was continued within KING FM's space: key features include low VOC and recycled materials, high efficiency lighting, and energy-conserving mechanical systems designed to LEED Silver standard.
Image Credits: Lara Swimmer