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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Half Dose #93: Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab

Photograph by  
archidose
[Photographs by archidose; click for larger views.]

Yesterday I found myself in Pleasantville, a small village in Westchester County, about 30 miles north of New York City. Across the street from the Metro-North station is the Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab, just down the street from the Film Center's Theater. The two comprise, combined with a residence for international filmmakers, a campus for the "nonprofit educational and cultural institution dedicated to presenting the best of independent, documentary, and world cinema; promoting 21st century literacy; and making film a vibrant part of the community."

Photograph by archidose

The Media Arts Lab, which opened in 2009, is "home to dozens of filmmaking and cinema studies classes for kids, teens, adults, and families ... [in] a 27,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility ... equipped with 16 editing suites, a recording studio, a soundstage, a 60-seat screening room, an animation studio, a large Center Studio, and four small studios." The building, designed by KG&D Architects, is capped by clerestories and a flat roof, yet the part of the design that drew may attention is the wood-slat exterior that gently curves around the corner. Horizontal strip lights are integrated into the slats to give the building a unique presence at night.

Photograph by  
archidose

The building is basically rectangular, oriented north-south. The south elevation is above and the west elevation is below, with windows cut into the wood exterior, a decent way of bringing light into the offices while maintaining what is basically a continuous wood wall.

Photograph by archidose

To the east, where the main entrance is located, the wood slats give way to precast concrete panels. This makes the building somewhat schizophrenic, yet the clerestory and overhanging roof with wood eaves extend around the perimeter to unite the different sides.

Photograph by archidose

From the train station's parking lot across the street (photo below), the two parts of the building's design -- wood and concrete -- can be seen together. One can also see the solar panels and north-facing skylights on the roof.

Photograph by archidose

The site plan also shows -- as does this PDF presentation on the building's green merits -- the solar panels. We can also see a narrow green roof that follows the perimeter of the building's footprint. These are a few of numerous green features in a building focused on the "appreciation for natural beauty and conservation of resources."

Google Maps Aerial

Floor plan and section
[Floor plan and N-S section | Image source (PDF)]

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