MOTION CAPTURE LABS
KVA‘s design for the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Human Modeling & Simulation provides the School of Engineering with an innovative, highly adaptable motion capture facility--the first of its kind to integrate state of the art image processing, infrastructure, storage and equipment with flexible research facilities, café, conference and social areas.
The project site, the Moore Engineering Building, designed by Erskin and Morris in 1912, is the historic public entry to the Engineering School. KVA’s design transformed existing public circulation spaces, creating a coherent new public identity that emphasizes the MoCap lab’s volumetric presence and features the current work of the lab in gaming, animation and medical research. New public corridors designed with ceiling ‘landscapes’ of acoustic plaster, provide ample light, using only energy efficient indirect lighting. Where existing ceiling height is limited, the use of plain mirrors in ceiling pockets creates visual zones of ‘virtual’ deep space.
The design creates a new ‘livable lab’ typology within the large motion capture facility. Flexible perimeter work stations minimize wire runs. Rolling tech carts store CPUs, so that projects can move with people. The design enabled the School to utilize 30% more lab space, while supporting a new learning/teaching culture that integrates academic and applied research. New windows maximize natural daylight, and two sets of curtains, opaque and translucent, allow spaces to be rapidly subdivided for different projects. The design’s new student lounge, with the ENIAC, the first parallel processing computer, was recently selected as one of the top ten global IT Tech Meccas.
Client: University of Pennsylvania
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Frano Violich, FAIA; Managing Principal
Sheila Kennedy, FAIA; Principal Consulting on Design
Veit Kugel Dipl Ing, Senior Associate; Project Architect
Sloan Kulper IDSA, Ben Gramann
Architect: Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd
IT Consultant & MEPFP Engineer: AHA Consulting Engineers, Inc
Software Design: Mauritius Seeger, PhD
Structural Engineer: CVM Structural Engineers
Photographer: Halkin/Mason Photography