The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is reconfiguring the existing Photography Department facilities located on the second floor of 280 S. Columbus Drive. It is an interior renovation designed to rejuvenate the quality of space and give the series of isolated rooms a continuous and encompassing identity.
The conceptualization of the project stems from an initial investigation of the mechanics of photography and film making. Identifying elements like aperture, exposure, and depth of field, we began to translate them into viable architectural devices such as the framing of views, wall opacity, and forced perspective. The various rooms that make up the photography department are linked by a common corridor, which acts as a connecting spine. The walls along the spine are desaturated and dematerlized based on the functions behind. A series of objects along the spine further distinguish doorways and passageways as well as generate a forced perspective along the length of the main axis. These techniques give the Photography Department its own unique identity and distinguish it from the remainder of the academic spaces within the building.