Rochester Institute of Technology MAGIC Spell

Rochester Institute of Technology MAGIC Spell

Architect
SWBR
Location
Rochester, NY, USA | View Map
Project Year
2018
Category
Universities
David Lamb

Rochester Institute of Technology MAGIC Spell Studios

SWBR as Architects

Rochester Institute of Technology is poised to revolutionize digital media education with the innovative MAGIC Spell Studios, a first-of-its-kind higher education facility designed to converge computer gaming, film, animation, and digital media education under one roof with an emphasis on student entrepreneurship and commercialization.

 

SWBR designed this new state-of-the-art facility, including a 7,000 SF sound stage, a movie theater with 4K laser projection system and Dolby ATMOS sound system, and three media development laboratories that provide students a hands-on, high-tech environment from which they can launch their own companies in Rochester, fueling an industry that has taken hold locally with entrepreneurial ventures.

 

SWBR’s structural engineers’ design for the facility required the careful integration of several challenging existing conditions. The team worked to incorporate the presence of an existing 2-story underground basement directly below a sizable portion of the addition, as well as several large air intake shafts serving the existing basement. The capacity of the existing underground basement “roof” slab was found to be insufficient to support column loads for the addition, greatly limiting flexibility in locating new steel columns near the existing basement.

 

It also required the steel framing at the second floor and roof of the addition above the basement to be connected directly to the adjacent, existing Gannett Hall. A system of concrete grade beams and drilled piers extending to a depth of nearly 30’ were utilized to support new column loads that would otherwise apply a lateral surcharge to the basement wall. The steel superstructure was designed to fit around portions of the maintained air intake shafts as it extends away from Gannett Hall, culminating in a 24-foot roof cantilever announcing the main entrance.

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