National Sawdust

  • The former warehouse in Williamsburg, New York, was transformed into an intimate recording and performance space.
  • The 1,500ft2 music hall can accommodate 170 seated patrons or 350 standing guests.
  • Primarily a performance space for modern and contemporary music, the venue has capacity for a 70-seat orchestra.

Arup provided acoustic, audiovisual, theatre, lighting, and fire consulting and design for the transformation of a former warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, into an intimate venue that provides the highest quality conditions for a wide repertoire of amplified and non-amplified music. A 24/7 facility, the space operates as a rehearsal and recording space during the day and as a performance venue in the evening.

The overall shape, form, and dimensions of the performance hall were created to deliver an engaging, enveloping, and intimate sound and theatrical experience for both performers and audiences. Following the creative lead of project founder Kevin Dolan, and in collaboration with Bureau V’s architectural vision, we developed a unifying and immersive environment.

The performance centre has superior acoustics and can accommodate many forms of performance with movable staging. Sound-absorbing curtains are strategically located and hidden behind architecturally designed, acoustically transparent screens, allowing the acoustics of the room to be tailored for individual performances while maintaining the aesthetic look and feel of the room at all times.

The venue includes a front entrance with a bar/restaurant in addition to full restaurant kitchen facilities in the basement, offices, a green room, private shower and bath facilities, and storage space. The performance hall is separated from the adjacent bar and restaurant by a vertically sliding acoustic door, allowing events to occur simultaneously.


  • National Sawdust. Credit Arup.Open gallery

    National Sawdust has superior acoustics and can accommodate many forms of performance with movable staging.