On both sides of the Atlantic, academic structures have been transformed into galleries for modern media.
Two academic buildings, one in Cleveland, Ohio, and the other in Copenhagen, Denmark, have been turned into modern showcases for digital media thanks to the installation of a stainless-steel, wire-mesh façade interlaced with LED lights.
The Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), originally established in 1882 as the Western Reserve School of Design for Women, is currently one of America's top institutions for art and design education.
The Joseph McCullough Center for the Visual Arts and the George Gund building were connected as part of a two-year, intricate enlargement project. The old building has recently undergone a transformation thanks to the installation of a sizable GKD, Cambridge, MD, Mediamesh screen on its façade, which provides a creative outlet for budding artists.
The institution collaborated closely with the Cleveland-based architects at Stantec as they looked for a modern digital media format to show student-made graphics, images, and video clips. In the end, a Mediamesh translucent media façade was chosen, which offers unrestricted views of the outside environment from inside the structure. Additionally, it enables daylight to enter the façade, giving the building's inhabitants natural light.
The façade's installation during the school day was one of the project's toughest challenges. The installation crew took care to take all necessary precautions to protect the occupants. The project's location was still another difficulty. Its location on a busy road resulted in a tiny working space and restricted site access. The material could be worked with by GKD installers without endangering the product or disturbing the pupils.
Mike Leonard, the technical director for Mediamesh at GKD, claims that no on-site storage was necessary because the material was delivered as needed. When working with restricted site access, this was crucial.
In order to avoid student testing times, we also worked at odd hours. Our objective was to install the material with the least possible impact on the faculty and pupils. GKD also produced and installed the steel framework that holds the cloth in place as well as the electrical wiring in addition to the display.
The engineering difficulty involved in mounting the show atop a mobile building was among the display's most intriguing features. Up until the Institute bought it in 1981, the structure served as a Ford assembly facility. The building has detachable floor slabs that originally provided access for Ford Model Ts to the train rails behind it.
The display is supported by top anchors using the building's moveable features, preserving the building's original, distinctive design. The problem was solved by the engineers, who built dead load anchors at the top of the structure to support the weight of the display.
Leonard continued by saying that since Mediamesh was intended to be placed over glazing and was transparent, GKD was specified. CIA admired the artistic aspects of Mediamesh and thought it was ideal for the application, even if a significant amount of the glazing was removed as the structure grew. The interactive display in the center of the campus serves as a blank canvas for artwork to be displayed by alumni and current students.
The oldest academic institution in Denmark is the University of Copenhagen. It was established in 1479, making it the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Scandinavia.
Executives at the university were seeking for a method to update the architecture given its lengthy history. Arkitema Architects, Copenhagen, specified a large-format SMD-Mediamesh screen on the front of one of the university's four distinguishing buildings to give the campus a new look.
The four vertically integrated blocks of the three-story, glass-fronted base structures are aligned north to south. Large glazed façades cover the structures' two levels, connecting the glass strips.
A balance between privacyand natural light is provided by the steel, glass, and aluminum structures. The university's multifaceted teaching idea is artistically connected to the urban structures through the transparent-media façade system that GKD provided.
It was difficult to figure out how to mount the entire Mediamesh system, including the external electronics for the pre-existing substructure. The ideal solution used eyebolts and the tried-and-true mounting concept with round profiles. Vertical and horizontal spacing of the surface-mount device (SMD) lines in the mesh is 1 1/2 in. and 1 7/10 in. respectively.
The highest resolution Mediamesh system available for outdoor applications was the ideal fit for the exquisite weave of the woven media façade. In addition to having excellent color reproduction and resolution, the design uses less energy than other systems, using less than 160 W for every 11 square feet or so. Another important consideration in choosing the system was the weight limit.
The institution hired a local artist to create content for the media screen in order to advance its purpose of community engagement.
The photographs on show in Cleveland and Copenhagen aid in bridging the divide between society, culture, nature, and technology.