Award of Merit - Higher Education/Research

The project team for the Media Production Center at Columbia College in Chicago successfully navigated all the issues in developing one of the most advanced learning centers for film and interactive media arts in the nation.

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In the end, the team pursued LEED Gold criteria and created the college’s first purpose-built building.

Columbia College wanted a professional quality media teaching facility that would encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among students and faculty.

Simply locating the sound stages in the same building as the motion capture studio provides the proximity that encourages interaction between film and animation that is becoming standard in the film industry.

By also providing a hook up for the colleges remote media truck, the sound stages can be readily transformed into TV studios where the truck functions as the TV control room.

The design enables students to see into teaching spaces to learn about all aspects of film making. Parts of the film making process that are typically invisible are made visible through several well-placed windows.

A more innovative solution is the installation of an audio-visual network of video cameras and display screens so that first-year students can be in a classroom and observe the upperclassmen filming in the sound stages.

Key Players

Developer/Owner: Columbia College, Chicago
GC: W.E. O’Neil Construction Co., Chicago
CM: U.S. Equities Realty Inc., Chicago
Architect: Studio/Gang Architects, Chicago
Civil Engineer: Spaceco Inc., Rosemont, Ill.
Structural Engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Chicago
MEP Engineer: dbHMS, Chicago