The first building in the emerging Art+Design District at the University of Arkansas sets a highly functional tone, supporting the essential needs of art faculty and students. Situated on a 3.8-acre satellite campus, a former light industrial area south of the main campus, the building is durable and flexible, but also moves beyond a strictly industrial vocabulary drawn from its immediate surroundings. Tall, linear light diffusion panels indicate the location of the primary steel building frames, provide ambient exterior lighting at night along an adjacent recreation trail, and are positioned in locations that don’t compromise valuable interior wall space.
Half the square footage is housed within an existing pre-engineered building frame, made efficient by introducing a second floor within the volume. New bays to the east and west double the building’s original footprint. The program houses sculpture labs, studios, woodshop, steel shop, mold making/wax studio, advanced technologies lab, foundry, indoor/outdoor work areas, storage lockers, critique space, and voluminous gallery.