The New School, a university based in New York City, was founded in 1919 by a group of forward-thinking educators with the intent to defy the intellectual constraints of a traditional college education. The newly constructed University Center at the New School, located at the intersection of 14th Street and Fifth Avenue, is the focal point of the school’s downtown campus. The building, designed around the school’s mantra, reflects its commitment to creativity, innovation, and social engagement. This new building consolidated many schools of teaching into one location.
New York-based Technology Integrator VCA was selected to install Audio Visual and Display systems in the 16-story University Center. Technology was the centerpiece of the entire project, a combination of 89 rooms, comprised of classrooms, computer labs, and lecture halls, as well as a 500-seat 3-way divisible auditorium. The highly sophisticated design of the auditorium, featuring a custom Stewart screen and three Christie Digital projectors, was one of the most challenging aspects of the project.
Crestron Fusion, a software platform for monitoring classrooms, is integrated into each of the teaching spaces of University Center. This system monitors the technology in the classrooms and will then notify technicians of any issues. VCA welcomed the opportunity to engineer their most advanced implementation of Crestron Fusion to date. Each classroom also has a Crestron HD capture system used for lecture capture.
Each computer lab in University Center holds 22-26 computer stations. Any computer in the lab can send its screen to be shared on one of the six flat panels installed around the room via a hardwired Crestron Digital Media System.
The technological highlight of University Center is the 500-seat auditorium. It features three Christie edge-blended projectors. Vista Spyder is used to process the edge blending. The projectors shoot onto a stunning 589-inch diagonal custom Stewart Film screen. The rear of the auditorium is divisible, offering two additional classrooms with flat panel displays mounted to the moveable walls.
The end result of the new University Center is a beautiful array of innovative audio-visual systems that offer the school flexible use of space, lecture capture capabilities, reliability, and keeps with their commitment to creativity. The New School also chose to protect their investment by purchasing a three-year extended warranty on all of the audio-visual products installed by VCA.