Northwestern University

Norris Center

A very popular gathering area for students and faculty alike, is the Norris Center which offers an abundance of activities, food choices and programs. Design 27 was engaged to revamp and update two heavily utilized spaces within the Norris Center:  the Louis Room and the McCormick Auditorium. The McCormick Auditorium is a 370 seat auditorium that is utilized for movies, lecturers and large group meetings, as well as a host of other events including receptions, conferences and student programs.  The first step in our engagement was to capture acoustic samples in both spaces. The finishes of both spaces included exposed concrete and wood paneling which created an acoustical nightmare.

The existing finishes created a major challenge because they did not allow the sound quality needed in the spaces and so required creativity and ingenuity in our acoustical engineering to greatly improve the functionality of the spaces. The antiquated audio/visual systems were an additional area of focus.  Both the Louis Room and the McCormick Auditorium contained standalone systems that were outdated and unique to each space. A redesign of both systems specific to their respective spaces was completed and integrated with new room automaton systems including lighting and sound controls—thereby bringing the rooms into the modern era.