What goes into an interactive hub for local entrepreneurs?

Working with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the University of Maryland, College Park alumnus Anik Singal was tasked with envisioning and creating a new $3.5 million, 26,000-square-foot coworking and entrepreneurial learning space in Rockville, MD. 

Originally founded as an e-learning platform aimed at helping train and educate entrepreneurs working to grow their businesses, The Lurn Center was constructed to provide these entrepreneurs with a physical space where they could continue their personal and business growth. Featuring lecture-style classrooms, huddle and conference rooms, private offices, co-working desks, a video and audio studio, an event space, arcade, and even a nap room, Lurn sought to create a new home for entrepreneurs. 

The Design Challenge 

Training Rooms
Ultimately, Lurn’s number one objective is to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs. Training Rooms were designed for students to take classroom-style courses with integrated technology solutions allowing for simple in-room presentations. For remote members, Casaplex installed systems with PTZ cameras and wireless microphones which made it possible for these rooms to simultaneously stream their training to the internet to be viewable live on Facebook, YouTube, and more.  

Event Center
One of the Lurn Center’s main purposes was to bring entrepreneurs together. With that objective in mind, OTJ Architects designed a complete conference center directly into Lurn’s new headquarters. Complete with a large reception lobby and a large auditorium, the space was incorporated as the centerpiece of the new design. Singal’s goal was not just to host classroom style courses, but immersive educational events similar in style to TED talks. Casaplex provided the technology allowing the Lurn Center to host over 200 people in the auditorium using a Crestron DM video distribution system and turned their preexisting training rooms into overflow rooms from which additional audience members could listen and see the presentation in the main auditorium.  

To manage and control these complex productions, Casaplex equipped Lurn with a complete video control room and audio booth from which the event staff could remotely control, monitor, and coordinate cameras, microphones, presentation material, and video/audio distribution in the training rooms and auditorium within the facility as well as monitor and stream live event audio and video to remote members via Facebook and Youtube. 

Simple Controls, Smooth Operations 

Despite the complexity of the space, Casaplex developed a single interface to control the entire facility, whether on an in-wall touchpanel or a portable iPad. This central control system can also adjust lighting, displays, local streaming feeds, and can even route the facility’s video studio feeds to displays throughout the building. 

The result is a supercharged digital experience that empowers both  in-person and remote students to grow their business.

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