Universidad ICESI is located in Cali, Colombia and is the third largest university in the country. It currently caters to a student population of around 5,000 and offers a wide range of programs in the arts and sciences. ICESI has recently unveiled a brand-new music performance, composition, and production program and as such commissioned WSDG to design a new building that will serve as a one-stop facility to cater to the needs of students at all levels in this program. The final design was a collaboration between WSDG’s Systems Integration Teams and ICESI Music Program Director Mateo De Los Rios.
The ICESI building is a meticulously designed all-in-one space designed to provide students with access to not only classrooms and rehearsal spaces, but purpose-designed media labs, video production rooms, and multiple world-class recording studios. The idea behind it is to contain the entire process of composition and professional production contained in one building. The shell building was based on a common template used on the University campus, and then each floor was carefully designed from the ground up by WSDG to meet the exacting standards for acoustic treatment in both performing and recording spaces that the firm is known for.
The four-story building is divided into different sections, each carefully laid out to suit the needs of the different aspects of ICESI’s music program. The first floor is divided between classrooms, media lab spaces, a full featured video studio and the first of three top-of-the-line recording studios in the building. Floor 2 features large rehearsal spaces, suitable for bigger ensembles and more complex instrumentation. Floor 3 features two more recording studios linked with a large two-story live room as well as multiple isolation booths. Finally, Floor 4 features a honeycomb of individual rehearsal spaces, as well as purpose-designed labs for piano and percussion students.