The concept for the Arts and Technology Building (ATEC) is that of a portal, architecturally communicating the convergence of art and technology. The intent is to combine the fine arts, humanities and technology and digital arts so that students and researchers from various disciplines can interact and learn from one other, thus addressing both the creative and analytical sides of the brain. The new building brings together the knowledge and expertise of computer science, engineering, creative arts, and the humanities to develop new dimensions and new opportunities in education, technology, training, communication and commerce.
The plan of ATEC is designed around a neighborhood cluster concept in order to facilitate collaboration between and within faculty, graduate, and undergraduate groups, and researchers. Instructional laboratories, graduate seminar rooms, design studios, and faculty and graduate offices are clustered together in neighborhoods and distributed throughout the building.
A primary, multi-story space is organized along the west side of the building and is formed by an open exhibition space with a communicating stair and interactive spaces. This public space acts as both an indoor Allee – exhibiting the students’ work to passersby – and the main mixing chamber for the faculty, students and visitors. It also creates a public transitional space, encouraging interaction with passersby between the adjacent parallel central campus Allee and the more enclosed studios and laboratories within the structure. The Allee, or Mall, is the campus’ main connective tissue.
ATEC’s massing and skin reinforce the portal concept, which is conceived as a glazed angular volume extending from the south to the north end of the site. A perforated metal scrim over the glazed volume provides shading from the west sun and screening of the rooftop mechanical units. The tower and the 2-story eastern section of the main building take their cues from the cladding used on adjacent buildings, which are concrete and wrapped in a buff colored manufactured stone. Composite metal panels, a cement plaster system, and a corrugated wall panel system will make up the remaining exterior forms.
A key project goal is to create an environment that encourages collaborative learning and creativity, and is flexible enough to evolve with the introduction of new technologies and methodologies. The vocabulary of the building looks to the future yet is cognizant of its location facing the new Mall and located in the heart of the existing campus. The building is “outward facing”, encouraging public engagement and advertising its purpose and program. The design speaks to innovation but is also timeless in its appearance.
Material Used :
1. Southern Glass and Mirror – Exterior Curtain Wall – AFCO Curtain Wall and
2. Wilks Masonry, LLC – Burnished CMU – Featherlite
3. NOW Specialties, Inc. – Perofrated Panels – VM Zink Panel
4. Gate Precast Company – Architectural Precast – Gate Precast