Awards Education Technology & Innovation

Columbia University’s Esports Project Awarded

Two volumes, the "Brain" and the "Blade," organize the room and its technology. The Brain and the Blade are wrapped in perforated stainless-steel panels, allowing air to flow around the room and through the organizing volumes. / Photos by Paul Warchol Photography

New York – Acentech announced that its collaboration with Desai Chia Architecture on the Columbia University’s new Walter and Shirley Fan Wang Esports Room received a 2023 Learning By Design Outstanding Project Award.

Learning By Design is a national source for education design innovation and excellence. The magazine annually recognizes, through a juried awards process, the very best in new and renovated PK-12 and high-education learning environments.

The Wang Esports Room replaced an underused lounge in the historic Wallach residence hall located on Columbia’s Upper West Side campus. While encapsulating a state-of-the-art gaming studio into an existing space had its challenges, the design team found unique ways to integrate the power demands, data networking, a vibrant array of AV systems, acoustical treatments, MEP equipment, and lighting to create an energetic amenity for the students and the gaming community. Columbia University is one of the first Ivy League schools to build a dedicated space on campus for student gamers and esports athletes.

“Acentech’s technology/acoustics team brought their talents and collaborative spirit to every phase of this project. They seamlessly melded the AV/telecommunications infrastructure into the architecture and consistently supported our design concepts. They were always accessible, great at brainstorming, and delivered a thoroughly detailed set of CD documents. Acentech was a truly a great fit for our team,” said Katherine Chia, FAIA, of Desai Chia Architecture.

Team members on the project also included CES Engineering, MEP engineering; Christine Sciulli Light + Design, lighting; Stuart-Lynn Company, cost estimating; William Vitacco Associates, code consultant; and Richter + Ratner, general contractor.