Spectrum Design Architecs | Engineers

WVTF Public Radio Station

Roanoke, Virginia

Spectrum Design provided architectural and engineering design services for this new public radio station, WVTF, which is sponsored by Virginia Tech and located in Roanoke, Virginia. The existing facility was located on the upper level of a strip-mall and had become inadequate, so the university decided to build a new facility for the radio station. The design collaboration created a contemporary, high-tech image for the new studio, while reflecting the association with Virginia Tech. The building exterior design effectively combines a variety of materials to emphasize the progressive image of the station. Two colors of brick, efis, glass, metal and "Hokie Stone" were used in the design.

The interior program of the building creates sound-proof, studio spaces that can be viewed internally and externally through glass windows and walls. One studio was designed as a performance studio and can accommodate live concert performances that are visible through a glass wall that looks out onto an outside plaza. The program also included a welcome lobby, support areas, sales offices and conference rooms. The budget allowed for high-quality interior design finishes and furnishings to be used throughout the station. The lighting fixtures also enhance the modern appearance of the building while providing adjustable controls in the studios and control rooms.

During the design stage of the project 3-D computer models were used to show how various materials and different elements would impact the final design. This interactive process gave the client added insight and input into the design process.

Specific engineering needs were required for the station. The building is served at 120/208 volts three phase. Approximately half of the building loads, including studios, communications equipment and critical air conditioning are backed up using a 150KW generator. This allows the station to remain on the air when normal power is interrupted. And since power-outages are a threat to operations and communications two UPS units were installed between the generator and the critical radio equipment so that in the event of a power outage, that equipment would not see any interruption or spikes, even during the ten-second lull while the engine generator goes on line.