The TALI Hall building at Eastside Preparatory School is a 500-seat state-of-the-art multi-purpose theater where students can take part in various activities and classes, which also doubles as a venue for students to share their work with the community. TALI—short for “Think, Act, Lead, Innovate”—aims to be a learning environment where students can thrive academically, creatively and collectively.

In order to use the new theater as a multi-purpose learning space, Eastside Prep needed the flexibility to acoustically separate the upper balcony space from the theater down below without losing the balcony as extra seating during stage performances. Moreover, TALI Hall needed to be a space that could easily adapt to the school’s progressive curriculum of art-based programs, such as choir, visual arts, photography and filmmaking.

In their quest to find a flexible space option, Public47 Architects faced a few challenges. At first, a traditional horizontal operable partition was discussed, but it was quickly ruled out; there just wasn’t enough room on the balcony for the closet that would store the panels. Interior Technology also pointed out that a traditional operable partition would be unsafe for people to operate manually since the partition would be installed at the very edge of the balcony’s opening. With these factors in mind, Jeff Boone, partner at Public47 Architects, knew that Skyfold—with its overhead storage and automatic operation—was the only solution.

With a Skyfold Classic 55, Public47 Architects and Interior Technology were able to provide Eastside Prep School with a smart and safe flex-space. When the wall is in the down position, the balcony space can be used as a classroom, meeting room or as an activity space while events or other classes are going on below. The whiteboard finish on the balcony side of the separation allows for the Skyfold wall to be used as a teaching tool, in addition to a visual and acoustic barrier. Skyfold’s standard Dune 4505 Darkness fabric was applied to the side of the wall facing the theater to match the black fixed walls framing the mezzanine. During performances, the school also has the option to raise the Skyfold wall to provide additional seating.