The University of California, Santa Cruz have selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects to design their new Institute of the Arts and Sciences building, a 30,000 square foot building containing exhibition spaces, seminar rooms, studios and offices, a café, and ample public gathering areas.
Set into a natural landscape of redwood trees and with views over Monterey Bay, Williams & Tsien's building avoids monumental or sculptural gestures, instead creating a dialogue with the site, with a series of paths, bridges and open spaces criss-crossing the site to provide a rich network of spaces.
More on the design after the break.
The institute will host exhibitions, seminars and other events focusing on both the arts and the sciences and their relationship to other disciplines. UC Santa Cruz claims that the Institute will be the first of its kind at a research university, creating content that will link to the university curriculum.
The site itself was the key driver for the design of the Institute of Arts and Sciences. Tod Williams and Billie Tsien noted how "the site for this Institute is one of unsurpassed beauty," and their building makes every attempt not to disturb this beauty, fitting around the trees on site and digging into the ground to become a part of the landscape. A plaza at the center of the design provides the focal point for the activities in the building.
The designs will be finalized in the coming months, alongside fundraising efforts for the building, which is expected to cost between $32-$40 million. "The precise construction calendar for the new facility will depend on the pace of fundraising," added John Weber, founding director of the Institute.