The transformation of Illinois Hall from a seldom-used 1960s-era science lecture hall into a technological gateway for academic, civic and community business use on the Elmhurst College campus was made possible through a grant from the state of Illinois. Resuscitating meaningful life into the aging room required complete reconfiguration of the steeply raked, tablet-arm FEATURED IN2002 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior Renovation layout and the insertion of a new technology infrastructure, ventilation system and lighting.
The architect’s solution reduced capacity from 200 to 110 and reshaped the seating into a horseshoe configuration to allow for better sightlines and intra-audience discussion. To accomplish this, a new tiered floor geometry was overbuilt on top of the existing rectilinear structure. Each tier was widened to receive fixed 18-inch-wide curved tables accommodating textbooks and laptop computers.
Each of the 110 seating positions is cabled for data and power. A comprehensive data-enhanced projection system was installed to accommodate the needs of distance-learning networked teleconferencing. The audiovisual enhancements included a sound system, audience microphone locations and a computerized master-control lectern.