Unveiled in Spring 2015, Pratt Institute’s new Film/Video Department offers students a cutting-edge facility boasting 3,000 square feet in soundstage space including an infinity green screen, a 96-seat screening room with surround sound, a sound recording studio, and two high-end post production suites. Located on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus at 550 Myrtle Avenue, the 15,000-square-foot, two-story building was formerly the home of the PrattStore.
The design team, headed by Pratt alumnus Jack Esterson, focused on honoring the expansive, open quality of the building. Built using free-span trusses, the interior space is column-free and features 23-foot high ceilings. Specially-created by Pratt alumnus and Architecture Professor Haresh Lalvani, a stunning series of perforated, sculptural metal panels wrap around the entrance lobby and envelop rooms requiring sound-proofing and darkness. A floating bridge spans over the building’s first floor and connects classrooms and offices on the second floor while various interstitial spaces throughout serve as dynamic social areas for students to meet and interact. The design is intended to foster “the spirit of students learning from each other” and create “a vibrant and collaborative filmmaking environment,” Esterson explains.
Sustainable and eco-friendly components of the project include high-efficiency LED lighting and the re-use of pre-existing construction features from the original building including stairs and ductwork.
Within one year of opening, the Department’s five-year plan to double enrollment was realized. The project was recognized with a citation award in the 2015 American Institute of Architects New York State Design Awards.