Exterior of building with plaza

Arizona State University @ Mesa City Center

City of Mesa | ASU Media and Immersive eXperience (MIX) Center & the Plaza @ Mesa City Center | Mesa, Arizona

The groundbreaking Arizona State University @ Mesa City Center complex pairs multifaceted technical higher-ed programs with long-term civic functionality.

The project in downtown Mesa, Arizona is composed of two parts:
the Media and Immersive eXperience (MIX) Center and the Plaza @ Mesa City Center.


  • Client City of Mesa
  • Design Team Holly Street Studio


Media and Immersive eXperience (MIX) Center

A joint project between the City of Mesa and Arizona State University (ASU), the Media and Immersive eXperience (MIX) Center is a state-of-the-art academic building that houses programs by the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts and the Sydney Poitier New American Film School related to digital and sensory technology, entrepreneurial support, experience design, film production and immersive media. The three-story, 118,000-sq.-ft. immersive design facility supports programs that utilize augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D modeling, and visualization to teach and develop technology with the potential to impact industries as diverse as healthcare, aerospace, manufacturing, and entertainment.

Located in the heart of Mesa’s Innovation District, the center serves more than 800 students who will be designing new virtual worlds and creating immersive media experiences. The project includes a 3200-sq.-ft. enhanced immersion studio, four sound stages, a 285-seat screening theater and an 80-seat screening room. The building also contains high-tech sound-recording studios, control rooms, display areas, editing rooms, classrooms, a fabrication lab, and office-support spaces, as well as a 30’ x 70’ high-resolution LED screen on the exterior of the building. The facility will serve as a laboratory for advanced media technologies, a platform for game development and a driving force for entrepreneurial solutions.

Plaza @ Mesa City Center

The Plaza @ Mesa City Center is a two-acre gathering place located just south of the ASU building with a large open community space, water feature and seasonal ice rink. The MIX Center and Plaza serve as indoor-outdoor connection points that intertwine the university and community together.

Exterior of building with plaza
Accuracy and


The project team employed laser scanning and a high level of BIM to improve quality and avoid costly rework. Laser scanning was used for all concrete pre-pour and post-pours to ensure accurate installation, verifying the locations of sleeves and penetrations.

Together with trade partners, the team worked quickly to correct issues and avoid aesthetic, acoustic and structural challenges. From laser scanning to identifying/correcting clashes to pouring of concrete was a 72-hour process.



The MIX center is composed primarily of audio production studios, sound stages, theaters and specialized media production facilities which require the highest level of acoustic isolation, technical lighting/control systems, rigging equipment, IT and audiovisual systems. These unique requirements put tremendous pressure both on the project budget and the construction schedule due to their specialized nature and atypical construction sequence required to execute the work.

Photo: The 8,100 square feet of professional-quality soundstages and production studios feature top-notch acoustic isolation, an automated lighting grid, and advanced camera systems. Photo: Grey Shed Studio



The project team employed “box in-box” design and construction methodologies to address the acoustic isolation requirements between spaces. This methodology essentially requires building a room twice: First, a heavy sound barrier shell followed by a “floating” room built within, utilizing specialty structural isolation materials to separate it from the rest of the structure.

A high level of detail was paid to individual components of the building, as certain elements needed to be separated with a special isolation membrane to absorb sound. Alignment of deck inserts for vibration isolation assemblies was also critical since they required specific placement to achieve the required room layouts.

To mitigate the increased costs that come with building “rooms within rooms,” the team strategically reorganized the layout of the building to find efficiencies and arrange the acoustically sensitive spaces adjacently. This allowed for a revised structural design which employed a hybrid of mild reinforcing at long span areas like theaters and thinner post-tension decks in classrooms.

The culmination of these planning efforts was evident in the acoustic sound testing required at project completion. The tests measured the Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings, reverberation (how does sound move within the room) and background noise from MEP systems. Every detail of how the rooms were constructed passed the test with ZERO RE-WORK required.

Photo: The three-story, 3,200-square-foot,150-person-capacity enhanced immersion studio serves as a high-end performance venue and an experimental media space, equipped with cutting-edge rigging, lighting and audiovisual systems. Photo: Grey Shed Studio

The 5,700-square-foot, 285-seat movie theater meets Dolby specifications for production facilities and features high-end projection and sound for movie screenings, lectures, live events, and livestreaming, as well as for sound mixing and color grading. Photo: Grey Shed Studio
The professionally equipped high-end recording studio and teaching studio capable of mastering studio-quality audio for films, games and music, as well as sound for interactive and immersive experiences. Photo: Grey Shed Studio


ENR Southwest

Award of Merit, Higher Education/Research

This award highlights outstanding projects that demonstrate a commitment to safety, innovation, and teamwork.

AZ Big Media

RED Award - Higher Education Project of the Year

This award celebrates the top commercial real estate projects in Arizona.

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Award of Merit, Higher Education/Research: Arizona State University @ Mesa City Center