If Chicago architects Norman Patton and Grant Miller could stand outside the main entrance of the library they designed for Indiana University today, it would look almost the same as when it was built in 1907. If they walked inside Franklin Hall, though, they would be stunned.
A monitor as long as a pontoon boat and taller than a basketball goal now hangs in the building’s new commons area. A portion of the second floor has been removed as well as the roof, which has been replaced with glass that can be darkened when the sun is too bright. There is a control room and a studio that, in a few years, will allow student-produced halftime shows to be broadcast in Memorial Stadium.
This is not your great-grandfather’s Franklin Hall. No, this Franklin Hall was designed with your grandchildren in mind.
The screen on that giant, high-definition monitor has magnetic panels that can be easily replaced with the next generation of image resolution technology.
“We don’t want to be obsolete in a few years,” said Tom Morrison, IU’s vice president of capital planning and facilities.
Staying up to date is always a concern with technology, but when Franklin Hall officially becomes the new home of IU’s Media School this fall, it will be state of the art.
Six different channels can be displayed at once on the NanoLumens monitor that is the centerpiece of the building’s commons area. Using the Tunity app, students will be able to hear the sound from any of those six channels on their smartphones. But it’s not just for TV. Lecturers can use it to display PowerPoint presentations, and game design students can connect it to an Xbox. Despite its huge size, the monitor runs on about the same amount of electricity needed to power six hairdryers.
“It’s pretty spectacular,” said Jay Kincaid, director of facilities and technology for the Media School.