LITE , was conceived as an economic development initiative to enhance the development of visualization technologies and high-performance, 3-D computer modeling.
Designed by Architects Beazley Moliere , the facility houses one of only six, immersive visualization cubes in the world. It is the central focus of LITE's design, expressed by the nearly six-story, lighted "globe" on CajunDome Boulevard.
The glass and aluminum globe was manufactured by Super Sky Products, Inc. of Mequon, Wis. Created as a custom skylight and installed by J.B. Mouton Builders , the structure rises 59-feet and reaches 47-feet at its widest diameter.
Linetec finished the skylight's aluminum framing in clear anodize. "This provides a durable, protective exterior, giving it excellent wear and abrasion resistance. The resulting finish is the second hardest substance on Earth, second only to the diamond," says Tammy Schroeder, Linetec's marketing specialist. She adds, "The clear anodize also highlights the high-tech aesthetic of metal, which makes it a great match for this project."
The glass area spans 7,815-square-feet and is comprised of clear, laminated, heat-strengthened lites featuring two, "cool white," PVB interlayers. Fabricated by Viracon, Inc., the laminated glass provides hurricane impact-resistance for the coastal zone and presents a cloudy, translucent appearance that is illuminated to enhance the visual effect.
Since its unveiling, this finished globe has become the icon for LITE in both physical and graphical forms. It beckons a diversified client base including private sector and federal- and state-funded research projects. In November 2009, Pixel Magic , announced it will open a Louisiana studio at LITE. The company plans to create 12 jobs within a year, ramping up to a total of 40 jobs in three years.
The Lafayette Economic Development Authority, the University of Louisiana, and many other Lafayette community leaders including Gov. Bobby Jindal and Henry Florsheim, CEO of LITE, welcomed the new tenant. "Pixel Magic is exactly the type of company LITE was designed for. LITE's infrastructure and economic development mission allow us to develop custom computing solutions for Pixel Magic, providing them with a reason to locate in Louisiana instead of other locations," said Florsheim.
Pixel Magic provides digital visual effects for motion pictures and television. Its capabilities encompass a full range of visual effects services in 2-D and 3-D. It has worked for Miramax, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks on major films, such as Marley & Me, Get Smart, 300, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Last Samurai.
Pixel Magic will receive one, free year of office space and will be one of the first tenants of the business accelerator at LITE. The accelerator is designed to encourage the creation of new and innovative technology businesses in the area through start-ups, joint ventures of existing businesses and the recruitment of out-of-state technology companies.
Along with LITE's immersive visualization cube, the 175-seat 3D auditorium is the world's largest immersive auditorium. Two smaller, interactive, conference and collaboration spaces offer 3D meeting and presentation spaces for up to 30 people.
In addition to Pixel Magic's plans, LITE's spaces and tools are helping to simulate burns to better understand how fires spread and how to fight them; study radio frequency transmissions through dense objects; visualize coastal restoration initiatives, and develop training projects for both the U.S. Army and the State of Louisiana.
LITE, a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana and the only facility of its kind in North America open to both industry and academia, was created as a partnership between the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. Open houses and free tours are offered every quarter in 2010 from 3-6 p.m. on July 7 and Oct. 6; no reservations are needed.
Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE); http://www.lite3d.com
537 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, La.
Tenant: Pixel Magic; Lafayette, La.; http://www.pixelmagicfx.com/
Architect: Architects Beazley Moliere; Lafayette, La.; http://www.beazleymoliere.com/
Installing contractor: J.B. Mouton Builders; Lafayette, La.; http://www.jbmouton.com/
Skylight – manufacturer: Super Sky Products, Inc.; Mequon, Wis.; custom skylight product; http://www.supersky.com
Skylight – glass fabricator: Viracon, Inc.; Owatonna, Minn.; http://www.viracon.com
Skylight - finisher: Linetec; Wausau, Wis.; 204-R1 clear anodize; http://www.linetec.com/