The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts is a renovation and adaptive reuse project in Lincoln, Nebraska. This renovation takes the former University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bookstore and reinvestigates the structure as a new home for the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts. The Emerging Media Arts program is a new pilot program for the university and is conceptually thought of as a central nervous system of interdisciplinary learning where people join forces, spark ideas, and new paradigms are born. The building is thought of as a “black box” – in the traditional experimental theater sense, in that it’s a simple, unadorned space. Staining the brick dark sets up a dialog within its urban context as embracing difference.
Jury Comments: This project showcases the value and power of adaptive reuse. A few simple gestures recast a commercial retail building into a site for experimental interdisciplinary exploration.