Architects: DLR Group
- Area: 42525 ft²
- Year: 2019
Manufacturers: Dri-Design, Arcadia Inc., Armstrong Flooring, B & C Cabinets and Millwork, Basalite Concrete Products, Guardian Glass, RPG Acoustical Systems, Series Seating
Lead Architects: DLR Group – Dennis Bree
Architectural Designer: Adam Strauss
- Project Architect: Dan Karas, AIA
- Acoustician: Jonathan Hopkins
- Lighting Design: Yosuke Hiraiwa
- Electrical Engineer: Radames Cocco, PE
- Mechanical & Plumbing Engineering: Ainsworth Associates Mechanical Engineers
- City: Reno
- Country: United States
Text description provided by the architects. Known as a vibrant arts campus, the School of the Arts is the artistic epicenter for the University of Nevada, Reno, encompassing the university’s art, music, theater, and dance departments. Originally designed by renowned Modernist architect Richard Neutra, the Church Fine Arts complex opened in 1962 and has since served as a welcome center new building for the university’s booming arts scene. Positioned in a central location on campus, the serves as a home to world-class performances and major exhibitions the entire community can enjoy.
The new facility features a 287-seat recital hall, museum of art, fabrication lab, electroacoustic composition lab, rehearsal spaces, music practice rooms, faculty offices, and a recording studio. Engaging the topography of the site, the design creates an active outdoor plaza that links to campus pedestrian walkways and preserves a large grass hill, the last remaining piece of the university's original football stadium. Upon entering the building, visitors are greeted by a multitiered lobby, connected to the plaza, street, and bridge levels, and serves as a hub and showcase for performance, display, and learning.
The recital hall employs seating arrangements that fosters enhanced acoustics and flexible teaching configurations. Lower wooden walls in the space are designed to be highly diffusive, broadcasting sound in many directions; upper side walls conceal variable acoustic drapery and acoustic diffusive panels. To accommodate a variety of performance needs, the room can be tuned and adjusted for reverberation time without altering the warm wood aesthetic. The recital hall’s wraparound balcony affords audiences a unique perspective, and can also provide students closer views of musician hand positions and conductor gestures.
The electroacoustic composition lab (EAC lab), a first-of-its-kind in Nevada, features octophonic sound with eight speakers positioned around the room that can work in unison or function independently to support the creation and performance of music.
The EAC lab is highly flexible, with deeply embedded technology and infrastructure that allow for a wide array of digital music composition, playback, and enhanced cross-discipline collaboration between musicians, and students in video production, visual arts, and engineering. The Lilley Museum of Art features atmospheric and security protocols to house and display oversized objects, antique and climate-sensitive artworks, and items of significant value, improving the university’s ability to borrow artwork from collectors and museums. An extension of the lobby, the museum allows patrons to connect with the art while attending a music performance. At night, the north-facing window is a beacon of light, illuminating the art objects and giving the effect that the building is glowing with artwork.
The design focuses on holistic sustainable strategies tailored to the local climate, maximizing the use of natural daylighting. These solutions have helped achieve a 30 percent reduction from baseline campus buildings, and include energy efficient displacement air distribution, LED lighting systems, low water xeriscape landscape planting, and a cool roof system that reduces heat island effect.