McGranahan Architects brings story about Bates Technical College’s technology center to life in film competition
What happens when an underrepresented community gets close access to a state-of-the art, technology-focused higher education facility?
That is the story Tacoma-based McGranahan Architects aims to share through the 2017 I Look Up Film Challenge, an American Institute of Architects-sponsored contest.
This year’s theme, A Blueprint for Better, spotlights how architecture can bring positive changes to a community. The challenge calls for films that highlight architects and their projects that align with the theme.
Voting is currently underway for the People’s Choice award, where anyone can vote for a film as frequently as once an hour until Friday, Oct. 6. The winner will receive exclusive screening at the Architecture and Design Film Festival in New York City.
“With the theme in mind, we felt Bates Technical College’s new Advanced Technology Center, centrally located in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, was a fitting story to tell,” said Annie Ferguson, marketing coordinator at McGranahan Architects.
Covering more than 51,000 square feet at the Central/Mohler Campus in the Central neighborhood, the two-story facility houses the college’s engineering, information technology and digital media programs.
Some unique hands-on features include interactive electronic displays, and a TV studio with a high-tech sound room, which help set the building apart from traditional learning facilities that focus on lecture rather than experiential learning.
The four-minute documentary-style film titled “Hub on the Hilltop” tells the story of Information Technology student Will Ragin, who shares his experience living in the Hilltop neighborhood. The Foss High School graduate highlights how access to quality higher education offered near his home helped set him on the path toward a successful career.
We wanted to craft a story that felt connected to the people and the culture of the neighborhood.
“We wanted to craft a story that felt connected to the people and the culture of the neighborhood. By reaching out to various community organizations, students and faculty, we believe we were able to tell this story authentically,” said Ferguson.
Through their outreach within the Hilltop community, McGranahan Architects filmmakers discovered that in the two years since its doors have opened, the Advanced Technology Center has become a hub for students, community organizations and Hilltop residents to have direct access to higher education.
every player involved works diligently to keep the culture and the residents of Hilltop intact by providing the technological and educational resources necessary to thrive.
“What is special about Bates, this building, and this story, is that every player involved works diligently to keep the culture and the residents of Hilltop intact by providing the technological and educational resources necessary to thrive,” said Ferguson.
Of the 257 films that architects submitted for the contest, 43 were chosen for public voting, and “Hub on the Hilltop” was one of 15 that were selected for official voting from an esteemed panel of judges, which included American Institute of Architects President Thomas Vonier, Associate Producer of Moonlight John Montague, and Dolby Institute Director Glenn Kiser.
To vote for “Hub on the Hilltop” and to learn more about the contest, go to www.bit.ly/hubonhilltop. For more information about Bates Technical College, go to www.bates.ctc.edu. To learn more about McGranahan Architects, go to www.mcgranahan.com.
McGranahan Architects is a 52-person firm located in the Pacific Northwest. We have dedicated our firm to the creation of exceptional environments for learning rooted in our belief that education transforms individual lives and society. We want our work and the culture we create to foster transformative learning! For more information, visit our website at www.mcgranahan.com Instagram: @mcgranahanarchitects.