College Planning & Management

OCT 2012

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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F&E 2 012 Furniture & Equipment a catwalk or positioned above a fl at fl oor to allow access from a lift. In some circum- stances, access to the catwalks might require traversing a short fi xed ladder, but that should be the exception. Ease of Use Along with maintaining systems, making those systems easy to operate is critical. If making a room fl exible requires too much effort or is too complex, then the room will likely be left in one confi guration only. Nowhere is this more apparent than with variable acoustic systems. The Logan Center's Performance Hall needed to be very acoustically lively for music performance, less lively for spoken word, and nearly dead for fi lm performance. This is achieved in an easy-to-operate manner by using roll-down banners and a control system. Deployed in groups of one, two, and three banners, this is actuated with 36 different motors. In order to operate that many motors simply and effectively, a control system that allows virtual visualization of the banners is used. An operator, working in a virtual model of the room, clicks on the banners to be moved and then presses a button. After determining certain presets that are desired, the operator can then simply recall those presets. If it were necessary to operate each motor individually or to operate the banners manually, this system would never be used properly. As it is, one trained operator can completely change the acoustic environ- ment of the room and go from an acoustic environment for fi lm to an environment for chorus in seconds. Individuality Educational institutions are not all the same. They each have their own mission, goals, and personality. The buildings they create refl ect this variety. The University of Chicago is a research institution at its heart. Research guides the way the sci- ences and the arts are studied. This meant planning performance spaces to support the current methods of work but also to plan for methods of work and types of art BEHIND THE SCENES. Because of the variety of performances that will take place within the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts, fl exibility and ease- of-use were central to the planning of the backstage and technical areas of the facility. Also, because the University is a research institution at heart, research guided both the current installation and robust infrastructure and provides support for methods and types of art not yet conceived. that are not yet conceived. To do that, very robust infrastructure was planned for the Logan Center, specifi cally: • Very strong walls, fl oors, and ceilings; • electrical supplies that are ample and easy to access; and • equipment systems with headroom for growth as new technologies become available. The performance spaces, classrooms, art studios, and workshops are all seen as laboratories and are provided with the in- frastructure required to use them that way. Despite the old saw that, "a theatre that is good for everything isn't good for 50 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / OCTOBER 2012 Joshua Grossman, ASTC, is a principal at Schuler Shook Theatre Planners (www. schulershook.com) and was the theatre proj- ect manager for the Logan Center. He can be reached at jgrossman@schulershook.com. WWW.PLANNING4EDUCATION.COM anything," the technologies exist to allow performance spaces to be equipped and furnished to support a wide range of func- tions and art forms. Planning and design- ing with the fi ve criteria above will allow the arts at the University of Chicago to live and thrive together. TOP PHOTO © JASON SMITH, BOTTOM PHOTOS © CHRIS STRONG

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