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

Awards & Publications (external links):

Pyramid Award - Best Project Team 2023

CAM Magazine front page  & main article

Project Description

Ned Baxter of Progressive AE designed the new Secchia Piazza, and Granger Construction carried it out. The unique "skycone," which stands 31 feet wide and 15 feet tall and has become an addition to the Grand Rapids skyline, was made possible by renovations to Secchia Piazza.

An acoustic engineering solution was necessary to reduce sound reflections due to the "skycone's" distinctive shape and acoustically reflective materials. To solve this problem, the acoustic consultant ABD Engineering recommended installing DeAmp Translucent Sound Absorbers in the "skycone."

Scope of Work

  • 40 custom trapezoid panels were designed to ensure that the sound-absorbing micro-slits pattern of the DeAmp panels matched the geometry of the “skycone”. 
  • Custom angle mounts and thermal expansion mounts were designed and supplied to address the unique challenges of the “skycone's" complex shape and angles.
  • The panels were UV ink printed to accurately match the seven colours of the Secchia Piazza’s glazing.

Want a more in-depth look?

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

A “balloon pop” is not a standard acoustic method of testing. However, it can provide a quick understanding of the changes in the acoustic environment after the Deamp panels were installed. This may require some experience to be able to hear the difference and know what to listen for.

For acousticians we also provide the full 3rd party acoustic report for this project upon inquiry.

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

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