LITE’s Glass Globe Shines in Louisiana

Designed by Architects Beazley, Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) is a $27 million, 70,000-square-foot facility located at the Research Park of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. LITE was conceived as an economic development initiative to enhance the development of visualization technologies and high-performance, 3-D computer modeling. The facility houses one of only six, immersive visualization cubes in the world, which 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 Prelco 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.

In November 2009, Pixel Magic, which provides digital visual effects for motion pictures and television, 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.