Shown is the latest Seacrest Studio in Aurora, Colo. AURORA, COLO. — The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is the vehicle for Ryan’s lofty goal of “inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and education focused initiatives.”
Having gotten his start in Atlanta, Seacrest wished to give back to the community that treated him so well. The stroke of genius was to combine his wish to provide an opportunity for dedicated young people to follow in his footsteps while at the same time, contribute positively to the healing process for children and their families in the hospital community.
In 2010, as the foundation’s director of engineering, I approached Omnirax to participate in the project. We had worked together several times and collaborated closely on Ryan’s personal broadcast studios.
Designing and building these studios presented several unique challenges. Ryan wanted the studios to be fully functional and state-of-the-art, yet adaptable enough so that they could be used as a teaching platform for rotating interns. In addition, because they are situated in the middle of the busy hospitals’ lobbies, they had to be able to accommodate a crowd (whenever Ryan or other high-profile guests dropped in), and the children in wheelchairs and gurneys as both audience and guests.
Omnirax designed and built the initial studio in Atlanta — the first step in realizing Ryan’s vision of a nationwide network.
This was just the start. Success in Atlanta was proof of concept; other hospitals around the nation took note, sponsors came on board and the foundation began to grow. Omnirax has participated in full or partial capacity on all seven of the completed projects: Atlanta; Philadelphia; Dallas; Orange, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati; and Aurora, Colo. It is now working with the folks at Boston Children’s Hospital, with an opening scheduled for fall 2014.
As the project has grown more complex, beginning with Dallas, Omnirax has acted as the design liaison between the foundation and its architectural consultants — first Elkin Aguilar, now Mezio Zangirolami of FKP Architects. Omnirax collaborates with the architects to ensure that their vision translates into a viable, functional state-of-the-art piece of radio broadcast furniture.
Each one a jewel, these striking furniture pieces are part of the innovative Omnirax “Shape’s Line” — curved laminated forms in geometric shapes. We opted to include most of the electronics in a large cylindrical bay. Power and data enter the system through the floor of the cylinder and are distributed through a curved cable raceway that supports the main console working position. At the other end of the raceway is a generous guest wing, with positions for five guests. Combined, they create viewing angles for an audience as well as clear sightlines for conversation. “Under the hood” can be easily reached via access doors, removable ports and lift off tops.
Eye-catching, easy to integrate and simple to maintain.
Through Omnirax’ efforts, there is an ongoing and synergistic effort to continually refine the furniture to meet the particular needs of each facility and the breadth of Ryan’s original vision.
For information, contact David Holland at Omnirax in California at (800) 332-3393 or visit www.omnirax.com.
Learn more about the Seacrest project; see Radio World’s 2011 supplement “The Voice” at www.radioworld.com/supplements.