Selects Boston Architects Schwartz/Silver To Design New Studio Art
June 2, 2003 --
The University of Virginia has selected Schwartz/Silver
Architects of Boston to design its new studio art building, representing
the first new building on the Arts Grounds, an ambitious plan by
the University to develop new and expanded facilities for the arts
in and around the Carr’s Hill area.
idea of a portion of the Grounds devoted to visual and performing
arts was a chief recommendation of the Virginia 2020 Fine and Performing
Arts Commission, appointed by President John T. Casteen III. The
commission laid out plans for strengthening arts programs and meeting
the growing demand for facilities.
two-phase program for the building calls for a 46,000-square-foot,
three-level facility that will contain multiple studios, including
drawing, painting and sculpture, as well as classroom and exhibition
with $9 million appropriated by the Virginia General Assembly and
$3.5 million from the Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation,
the studio art building will be named Ruffin Hall, pending approval
by the Board of Visitors. As the first new structure on the Arts
Grounds, it will be an architectural bellwether of those to follow.
“Schwartz/Silver has experience designing studio art buildings
at Cornell and Louisiana State,” said William Bennett, chairman
of U.Va.’s studio art program and a member of the selection
committee that chose Schwartz/Silver to design the project.
experience with challenging sites in proximity to traditional buildings
complements the transitional design philosophy that is the hallmark
of the University’s architectural guidelines for the Arts
R. Schwartz, founding principal of Schwartz/Silver Architects and
lead designer on the project, said, “ No institution so closely
aligns its identity with its buildings. To design on the Grounds
is truly an honor few architects are granted.”
studio art building will be located on the eastern edge of a green
quadrangle modeled after Jefferson’s plan for the Lawn. To
be known as the Arts Common, this open area will be defined by three
existing buildings: Campbell Hall, the School of Architecture, on
the south; what is now the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library on the
east; and the Drama Building, home of the the Culbreth and Helms
theaters, on the west. These buildings were designed in the modernist
New England Academic style prevalent in the late 1960s and early
architecture of the studio art building will act as a transition
between these larger scale institutional buildings and the residential
scale and more traditional Jeffersonian-style architecture along
Rugby Road, a major approach to Jefferson’s Rotunda.
addition to the studio art facility, the completed Arts Grounds
will include new buildings for the McIntire Department of Music
and the University Art Museum and a new arts library combining collections
in art, architecture, music and drama. The plan also encompasses
expansion of the Drama Building and the School of Architecture and
the restoration of Fayerweather Hall for the art history program.
will be a new $47 million performing arts center, for which architectural
guidelines have been approved. In April the University announced
that Carl and Hunter Smith of Charlottesville had committed $22
million to the project.
work for the studio art building has commenced, and construction
is scheduled to begin by fall 2004, with occupancy by the beginning
Architects is an award-winning firm founded by Warren Schwartz and
Robert H. Silver in 1980. They are also working on another project
at the University, the $4.5 million renovation of McKim, Mead &
White’s 1896 Cocke Hall on the south end of the Lawn.
current Schwartz/Silver academic commissions include the Humanities
Center at Princeton University and the Arts Block, a complex for
the visual and performing arts being built jointly by the state
of Louisiana, Louisiana State University, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation
and the city of Baton Rouge.
Ford, (434) 924-4298