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The Public Media Commons is a 15,000sf media-rich plaza and outdoor studio where local Public Television (KETC), Radio (KWMU) and the arts coalesce. The Commons is the heart of the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis and a first step toward the future ArtWalk, providing an unprecedented synthesis between public media and public space.

In this “white room”, the existing facades are treated with white perforated panels and illuminated by programmable LED uplighting. They visually define the space of the Commons and prepare the surfaces for media expression, including large-format projection and LED. A new window into KETC Studio B provides a glimpse behind the scenes while LCD virtual windows allow visitors to interact with the content generated within. The perforated QR patterns provide interactivity between the physical space of the Commons and the virtual space of media and mobile devices, potentially allowing visitors to create and display their own content through the interactive QR facade. In addition, the patterning lends a unique visual identity to space.

The plaza includes a forecourt entry and a broad central gathering space for events. Framing the Commons are the Broadcast Platform and Grove. The Platform serves as an elevated café terrace or stage for events while letting visitors peak inside Studio B. At the rear corner, the Grove provides a shady hangout. Steps traverse the grade toward the Fox Theater and integrate seating for a place to relax and spectate. At the base of the steps, the “whisper gallery”, amplifies the spoken voice over the outdoor sound system.

Project in collaboration with Benjamin Gilmartin, Powers Bowersox Associates, DLANDstudio, Electrosonic, & Randy Burkett.