A historic, three-story brick carriage house at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, Va., needed updating, repair and an image makeover to attract graduate students in advertising and media. Instead of breaking down the old, VCU integrated the new—an open space with noise-damping, tent-like walls that can be reconfigured to customize classrooms and conference space at the touch of a button.
J. Miller Canvas Inc., Santa Ana, Calif., designed, fabricated and installed the moving wall panels in the refurbished VCU Brandcenter. “This project was very intricate, using six Somfy® motors and 12 micro cutoff switches to control when individual panels could move,” says Jim Miller, president of J. Miller Canvas.
The entire middle floor can be open for large gatherings of 200 people, enclosed for classrooms of 50 students, or organized for smaller group interactions. Padded tent walls keep the discussions from colliding. The design won J. Miller Canvas an Award of Excellence in the Commercial Interiors category in the IFAI 2009 International Achievement Awards.