When the Office for Metropolitan Architecture won the competition to build a new student center on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, they chose the area wedged under the elevated railroad track that bisected the campus. The project included creating a 530-foot long sound-dampening tunnel atop a block sized one-story building, to contain the noise of the trains overhead. To channel the collegiate exuberance of the student center, and tie into
the unique nature and flavor of campus life, our identity for the building uses a quirky signage system, using the familiar, lifeless round-headed icons common to any public building.
But in this setting they have walked away from their tedious, regulated lives to portray a wide range of student activities – some more real than others. The icon system is integrated into
a wide range of surfaces throughout the project: digital murals, fritted glass walls, textured
and lenticular wallpapers. We also created unique architectural details, including LED digital clocks, florescent tube chandeliers, woodgrain walls, a sixty-foot long light box, and an iconographic wallpaper portrait of Mies van der Rohe, which is now part of the permanent collection of MoMA.