E-Suite at the Museum of Science and Industry
Citation of Merit
- Division: Institutional
- Location: Chicago, IL
- Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
- General contractor: HB Barnard Company
- Consultants: B&A/CCJM Engineers, Ltd.; Schuler Shook, Inc.
The E-Suite at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is an electronic classroom that enables remote learning and dialogue with distant sites. To facilitate this unique experience, the firm designed a reception room, electronic classroom and various educational and technical support spaces. The classroom space was designed as a neutral gray box to eliminate visual distractions. Flexibility to accommodate a variety of classroom configurations was essential. Teleconference cameras and two plasma display monitors travel on aluminum "festoons" mounted on overhead tracks. The first curriculum to use E-Suites is "Live from the Heart," a program that gives students a virtual visit to an actual hospital operating theater during open-heart surgery. Students have live, two-way visual and audio communications with the surgical team. One juror described the E-Suite as a "really simple space with great potential for transformation."