Powers Bowersox Will Lead Design for Innovative
Public Media Commons in Grand Center District
January 5, 2011—Architectural firm Powers Bowersox Associates, Inc., has been selected to serve as architect of record and systems design consultant for an innovative public media commons in the Grand Center District. The dynamic outdoor media environment will feature large-scale interactive audio/visual and cultural experiences and is being developed by four partnering nonprofit organizations: the Nine Network of Public Media, the University of Missouri–St. Louis, St. Louis Public Radio and Grand Center, Inc.
Powers Bowersox partner Fred Powers assembled an outstanding team that includes Ben Gilmartin, AIA; Electrosonic, Inc.; Dlandstudio, LLC; Randy Burkett Lighting Design, Inc.; and HDR, Inc. Ben Gilmartin previously served as design director on the Lincoln Center Promenade for Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Electrosonic provided audio/visual design and implementation on the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and Millennium Park in Chicago.
“This will be the only place in the country where arts, education and public media come together in an interactive outdoor space specifically designed to engage people in the cultural life of the community,” says Jack Galmiche, president and CEO of the Nine Network of Public Media. “We envision an energetic space that attracts and engages people of all ages. It will be a powerful expression of how we envision the future of public media.”
The Public Media Commons will be located between the Nine Network of Public Media at 3655 Olive and a new building being constructed by the University of Missouri–St. Louis immediately to the east. The new UMSL building will be home to St. Louis Public Radio and will provide space for UMSL academic programs. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2011.
“The project symbolizes the collaborative spirit of our organizations and the importance we place on public engagement,” says Tim Eby, general manager of St. Louis Public Radio. “The Public Media Commons will be a new way to present new and diverse audiences with news, information and art.”
St. Louis Public Radio will become a new constituent in Grand Center when the University of Missouri–St. Louis’s 27,000-square-foot building is completed in 2011. The building will provide academic and program space for the University.
“We are thrilled to play a role in this project,” says Martin Leifeld, vice chancellor for University Advancement at UMSL. “Our faculty and students will work side by side with media
professionals, neighbors and visitors from all over the world to create a public media environment that welcomes, informs and entertains. The Commons project will create an important new resource in Grand Center that literally joins the public to two of St. Louis’s outstanding media organizations.”
“Grand Center is truly fortunate to be the home of the Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio,” says Vince Schoemehl, president of Grand Center, Inc. The Public Media Commons will attract people from the region for special events, media presentations and a place to gather before other events in Grand Center. Grand Center is quickly becoming one of the most unique and exciting cultural, educational and, now, public media hubs in the nation.”
The Commons project is being managed by The Striler Group, Inc., with the program consultation of Christner, Inc. The Commons committee includes Pat Dolan, Tim Eby, Larry Eisenberg, Pepe Finn, Jack Galmiche, Harvey Harris, Ken Kranzberg, Martin Leifeld, Gene Mackey, Michael Moser, Vince Schoemehl and Peg Weathers.
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