Sunday, April 7, 2013

Law Students get Integrated Technology and Refined Architecture at Chicago's Kent College of Law

Thomas Roszak Architecture, as architect, and SteelGrass, as CM, recently renovated the Kohen Courtroom at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law which creates a flexible space for both moot and trial court, along with classroom lecture.  One of the main goals the college seeks to achieve with the redesigned space is to effectively teach students litigation technology.  This is accomplished with the use of state of the art technology throughout the room.  There are two 90-inch LED monitors strategically placed to allow for clear line of sight, four 21-inch monitors flush mounted in the Judge, witness and attorney’s desk, 3 Hi-Def document cameras mounted in the ceiling for presenting evidence, and nine input locations for student laptops or iPads; all controlled by an easy to use touch panel at the judge’s bench. The space is richly appointed with custom cherry wall panels and walnut furniture, composed in plan to maximize use of space and give the courtroom a more elegant feel. The courtroom allows students to practice using the latest in available courtroom technology, preparing them for trial in real-world courtrooms.

Lighting, Branding and Technology at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami

The exterior fa├žade and lobby of the InterContinental Miami has been renovated to create an “electric” guest experience. Accomplished through new lighting, branding and technology, the hotel draws inspiration from the Miami club scene and art district. A 19-story digital canvas of LED lights creates a larger-than-life video display on the tower while a 550 square foot hi-res display welcomes guest as they enter the porte cochere. The porte cochere has been wrapped with over 6,000 LED nodes set behind an opaque layer of new glazing, creating a dynamic entrance sequence for the guest.

The transformed lobby utilizes colors, textures and technology to engage the guest by allowing them to interact with the building. A field of color changing, back-lit glass ‘Pods’ create seating clusters that focus around interactive touchscreen surfaces while highlighting the existing world’s largest Henry Moore sculpture. LED monitors continue the animated exterior theme throughout the lobby, reception and elevator lobby. These monitors display artful media, including a library populated by guest photos.

The entire project is orchestrated by a central control system. The interior and exterior elements interact as one color changing, media displaying show, making the guest experience unforgettable.

This project was a design collaboration between Thomas Roszak Architecture and Lohan Anderson.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Adler Welcome Gallery Wins Chicago AIA Small Projects Award

The Clark Family Welcome Gallery at Adler Planetarium is the exciting pre-show experience to the planetarium's main event - the Sky Theater. To live up to that billing, Thomas Roszak Architecture designed the space to feel "other-worldly." "It reminds me of entering the Milky Way," said a juror. Aluminum tubing and polyester fabric were used to create a dramatic design, while being cost effective. The fabric was layered in alternating areas, creating darker and lighting slices, representing a "time slice" in outer space, along the pathway. The fabric was selected for its ability to reflect the gallery's LED lighting system while also absorbing light where mixed-media video is projected on the fabric walls. The team collaborated with experts in video, animation, sound and lighting for interactive exhibits with layered projected images, motion-detecting light sound effects, and unusual display technologies throughout the space.
See article at:
Chicago Architect Magazine

Friday, March 2, 2012

CS Interiors: An Otherworldly Welcome

MOODY BLUES Colored lighting sets the tone for
exploration at the Adler's new Welcome Gallery.

The Adler Planetarium has had folks stargazing since 1930, but when you enter its new Clark Family Welcome Gallery, you'll think the place just landed from a galaxy far, far away. Designed by Chicago architect Thomas Roszak, this anywhere-but-here space envelops visitors in a cocoon of fabric pulsing with colored light. A portal to the Grainger Sky Theatre, the otherworldly arena propels planetarium-goers away from the banality of the parking lot and primes their minds for the cosmological explorations ahead. Its voids and volumes expand and contract as one passes through - an experience meant to reflect the notion of space and time as a single phenomenon. "We researched a number of topics in cosmology and astronomy to find one we thought we could represent physically and spatially," says Roszak. "Ultimately, we used bands of fabric in alternating single and double layers to suggest slices of time."

Spun from a constellation of ellipsoids strung on a curved path, the Welcome Gallery seems to encourage people to wander, rather than make a beeline for the theatre. Roaming through it, visitors - willingly or not - play their own games with time and space. "We arranged the space so people would want to explore what's around each corner," notes the IIT adjunct professor and principal at Thomas Roszak Architecture. "It was all about generating a mood and creating a setting that takes you away from your everyday experiences." The question remaining is, are you ready to be transported?

Article from CS Interiors - Winter 2012

Monday, December 12, 2011

IIT Students Study Market Ready Alternates to Chicago Spire

Students from the School of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) worked with Adjunct Professor Thomas Roszak, as part of a comprehensive building design studio to study the current market solution for the old Chicago Spire site, at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive. The original project designed by Santiago Calatrava was to be 150 stories and 2000 feet tall, and contain 1200 condos, but was never built due to the real estate crisis. With new input from some key Chicago residential developers including Hines Development, Related Midwest, and Mesa Development, the students studied what is market ready in today’s housing climate.

It was determined that two towers 40-stories tall with approximately 400 rental units each may be feasible today. Construction costs were targeted at $160-180/gsf and land costs of $20 Million for each tower.

The students compared the Chicago Spire, which would have cost well over $1 Billion in construction costs and supported a land cost of an additional $150 Million, to their new projects which would cost approximately $150 Million per tower, including land. “It is amazing what a different world it is today as compared to 2007,” commented 4th year student Denys Petrenko, “and this study really puts into perspective what the future of residential development will look like in the years to come.”

Erik Shultz, another 4th year student noted that "the strong rental market makes this project feasible, and the fact that some banks can provide this level of financing to well established residential developers that can provide at least 25% of the equity needed, which in this case would be approximately $40 Million per tower." Erik and 13 of his fellow classmates, in their 4th and 5th year of their Bachelor of Architecture, analyzed hard and soft costs of similar projects. They also prepared plans, renderings, study models, animation, budgets, proformas, zoning analysis, code analysis, marketing analysis and detailed construction details.

A final architectural crit was done in front of some Chicago area professionals including architects, engineers, and contractors specializing in rental housing, that gave informative real world insight into the design of these residential towers and the future of high-rise housing in Chicago, at least in the short-term.

A learning experience for all...