Columbia College Chicago Media Production Center

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Columbia College Chicago Media Production Center

Columbia College wanted a professional quality media teaching facility that would encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among students and faculty. The resulting project makes behind-the-scenes aspects of the film making process visible in order to use the building as a teaching tool. It also demonstrates technical achievement and sustainability.

Like film, the building uses spatial layering and oblique compositional lines to create depths of field. Light is used to give “deep focus” and to animate movement across, through and within the framed views.

The building includes three large sound stages for film, video and motion capture instruction as well as teaching space for lighting, set-making, directing and animation classes. The largest sound stage is sized to allow all of the students working on a film project to have class in the same space. The Film Department Chairman sees this collaborative environment instigating a “pedagogical shift” for students and instructors. What was once taught in individual spaces, can now be taught collectively. Further, through the design, parts of the film making process that were once invisible (such as wardrobe, prop storage, and set-construction) are made visible. In doing so, the building enhances the interaction between students and exposes them to all parts of the production process.

Recently, screenwriter and producer Ron Falzone wrote, “I just co-produced the first outside-Columbia shoot in the MPC. All I can say is ‘Wow.’ It’s a great space and perfect for shooting. My partner and I both agreed that a huge percentage of the positive mood on the set came from the fact that the place was so well laid out that no one had an excuse to be in a bad mood. Thanks for putting together a studio that actually has production in mind (a sadly rare occurrence).”
From the architects 


6 photos, 1 video and 3 drawings