Duo-Gard’s Translucent Wall Glows as Beacon at Creative Media Industries Institute

If presentation is everything, how do you make it informative, innovative and impressive today?

If you’re a student, researcher or industry professional in the creative arts, associated with Georgia State University, you splash it over an interactive display screen 10 feet high by 41 feet wide embedded into an illuminated, curved translucent wall 20 feet high by 72 feet wide located in the university’s new Creative Media Industries Institute.

Abandoned for years, a three-story annex to downtown Atlanta’s former SunTrust Bank building is now enjoying life as the CMII, thanks to a $22.8 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation – the university’s largest donation. Designed by Cooper Carry Architects, CMII is created to support, expand and enhance Georgia’s burgeoning $6 billion film and digital media industry. The new facility opened in October 2017.

Located on the first floor and known as the Data Visualization Screen, the display surface is surrounded by the huge, color-changing translucent wall engineered and manufactured by Duo-Gard Industries in Canton MI.

The wall is fabricated with Duo-Gard’s opal-tinted, 40mm tongue-and-groove Series 3500 System, designed to support tall interior installations of translucent multi-walled polycarbonate glazing without the need for visually distracting mullions. This material curves easily and does not require structural framing. All these characteristics helped achieve the design vision for a pure and fluid form. This was the major factor in its selection by the architects at Cooper Carry, according to principal Brian Campa AIA LEED AP. The light wall’s form and scale conceal the entire production studio while providing a vibrant focal point for the surrounding city and campus.

“The facility represents Georgia State University’s significant support for Atlanta’s advanced creative industries, and the translucent wall is a beacon for the city, as well as an interactive tool for the students,” said Campa. “We wanted to make a statement, visible from inside and out.”

Campa said Duo-Gard’s polycarbonate wall system was “very cost effective and flexible to meet our design intent.” He added that a full-scale mock-up was created, in collaboration with Duo-Gard engineers and the contractor, to test the panels with the LED light fixtures, as well as access panels for easily servicing the lights in the future. The engineers also created a custom polycarbonate anchoring system for the panels that eliminated unwanted shadows in the cavity of the wall.

CMII was established in 2014 “to train a workforce, foster research and incubate companies” for the state’s film and digital media industries, helping prepare students for careers in entertainment and information. The renovated annex building’s three floors are geared to support this goal with areas for testing, presenting and building digital creative content.

As for the presentation wall, “We’re extremely happy with the results,” said Brian Campa. “The recent grand opening brought many positive comments. It is exciting to see how visible the wall is from multiple areas of the adjacent park and streets.”

According to CMII’s director, Dr. David Cheshier: “Reaction is completely positive. This is a perfect complement for us.”         

Photography by Martin DiGeronimo

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