Three winning entries and four honorable mentions have recently emerged from the IIT Innovation Center Parametric Student Design Competition, held at Illinois Institute of Technology's College of Architecture under the guidance of professors Alphonso Peluso & John Manaves.
The brief was based on the school's recently announced plan to build a new ‘Innovation Center,’ a proposed hub for interdisciplinary education and an incubator for idea exchange between faculty, students, business and industry.
Using the methods, concepts & skill sets covered in the college's Advanced Architectural Computing course, students were asked to develop a parametric design for the new IIT innovation center. Students were encouraged to meet the university’s vision by designing an iconic, innovative and bold building that represents the future of IIT. The resulting Designs are conceptual with a focus on the overall exterior massing, structure, and building skin.
The laundry list of space requirements includes 100,000 sq ft, classrooms, fabrication and rapid prototyping workshops, electrical workshop, computer labs, and flexible open spaces with movable partitions.
1st Place: Ryan Magoon
Project Title: “Show Me Some Skin: Showcasing IIT’s Ever-Changing Identity Through an Ever-Changing Outer Skin.”
1st Place: Ryan Magoon – “Show Me Some Skin”
Project Description: Nothing about IIT’s IPRO program is stationary. Every semester IPRO teams shrink or enlarge, integrate or disband, advertise, and incorporate outside establishments. Since IPRO initiatives are always changing in size and focus - as well as always advertising themselves - the proposed Innovation Center is intended to visually and functionally reinforce these qualities. This is achieved by creating a large-scale, unitized advertising platform which can be rearranged every semester to accommodate a regularly-changing program.
In terms of advertising, a large media-façade enshrouds the permanent portion of the structure, allowing digital blackboard sessions and presentations which occur within these spaces to be projected along the façade. This creates a large-scale, illuminated advertising skin at night, witnessed both by individuals commuting along the adjacent expressway as well as for passing students. During the day, initiatives are also advertised by building-based IPROs and cladding experiments which may be tested along portions of the skin. This large, wrapped surface also acts as a double-skin façade system, within which air can be pre-conditioned for heating and cooling and subsequently distributed to the permanent components of the program.
As for the ability of teams to change in size, a non-permanent portion of the building is devoted to team classrooms and meeting spaces. These spaces are made up of individual, interlocking units which are also clad in a two-way projection membrane. Every semester, the large cranes which hang over the roof of the structure hoist each team’s units into position from the subterranean pre-fabrication workshops below. This allows for adaptable interior spaces tailored every year to each team. It also allows buildingbased IPROs to regularly design and alter these units, as well as for the entire structure to be progressively built up over time as the program and the school expands.
In short, it is intended that the proposed building becomes a project itself, rather than merely a container of other peoples’ projects.
2nd Place: Christian Pereda
Project Title: “Loop"
2nd Place: Christian Pereda – “LOOP”
Project Description: The design stimulates the development of break-through projects and technologies. The Innovation Center will reflect and encourage innovation, by providing environments to refresh and inspire the minds of the people living and working within IIT. These environments are a direct reflection of the overall atmosphere of the IIT campus. As the students progress through the building, various activities open up possibilities to explore, not just academically. This opens the possibility for experimentation, testing, and innovation-related activities to extend outside of the building. Each environment serves as an independent unit for the ability to change through a “loop”. But, at the same time, the building is seen as a larger unity with a continuous circulation landform and communication system between the areas. This “loop” of connectivity carves into a volume that is stacked with the core program. The volume is organized by the existing grid of the campus, but unlike the surrounding buildings, it reflects the atmosphere that students created over the years.
3rd Place: Ni Li
Project Title: "Twisting Box"
3rd Place: Ni Li - “Twisting Box”
Project Description: This project is an innovation center at IIT campus which is located south to Machinery Hall and north to VanderCook College of Music, east to Herman Hall and west to Dan Ryan Expressway west.
By the heritage of Mies van der Rohe' s traditional box form of buildings at IIT campus, the basic massing of this construction is twisting the box in the horizontal direction. Thus it blurs the elevations, roof, even the floors to create a interesting special feelings which can inspire students' innovation mind. The facade pattern is based on the program inside the building. The various ratio combination of glass and metal panels gives a different feeling of light and shadow to form different space quality. The most transparent space is for public use, while the solid part is more for the relatively private use.
The setback in the middle part gives a plaza of entrance of innovation center and with the Hermann Hall forms a interactive space. Meanwhile the elevated north part of building creates an underground plaza for flexible using. Therefore by connection these two place, an interesting connection path with the programs, such as exhibiting, performing and relaxing ect., between Morton Park, Hermann Hall and Main Building makes the building more attractive.
Also check out the honorable mentions in the image gallery below.