​Arkansas Tech University

NORMAN ART BUILDING

Russellville, AR

 

PROJECT

Academic Building

 

TYPE

New Construction 

 

SIZE

24,700 SF

 

COMPLETION DATE

2006

Dating back to the early 1920s, the building had reached the end of its effective usefulness. The fine art department had expanded its programmatic needs throughout the years and Arkansas Tech University recognized the opportunity for a new facility. This would allow the program to further develop and enrich the heart of campus. 

 

The design takes inspiration from the campus vernacular and boasts generous light-filled art studios with high, open spaces. By combining vernacular with traditional materials, expressive architectural elements are recognized and appreciated by everyday occupants. The building’s design uses the accepted vernacular as a guiding principal in employing the language and spirit of modernism. The structural steel frame is exposed to view throughout the building, modernizing an architectural concept as understated and appreciable as the arch. The warmth and consistent wood tone of MDF panels installed throughout the public spaces contrast with the coolness of the exposed concrete floors. Building systems are partially concealed in public areas and are revealed within the studios, providing a raw industrial aesthetic. An architecture of utility with subtle layers of textures is communicated to achieve a universal understanding of the basic architectural principles.

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