Art and Design Building receives sustainability, architecture awards

The Art and Design Building expansion recently received sustainability and architecture awards, and the reasons for those awards extend beyond recognition and into the classroom.

The Art and Design Building recently received awards for its sustainability and architecture. Photo by Kari Williams

The building received gold level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, for which sustainability, energy, materials and resources and indoor air quality, among other items, are evaluated. Not requiring additional parking, producing 26 percent less energy and using 40 percent less water than a comparable building also factored into the gold level. It also received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Central States Citation Award of Excellence award.

Art and design Department Chair Barbara Nwacha said receiving both awards is great for SIUE.

“It’s really nice that the university was able to get this award,” Nwacha said. “It’s really nice that the art department – that we – get to benefit from their thoughtfulness on how they put together the space and thought about the materials that were being used and have that environmental consciousness.”

Joel Fuoss, of St. Louis-based Trivers Architects, which served as the project architect, said Trivers employed an industrial hygienist, who works with art schools around the country, to identify “safe alternatives” to chemicals used in art projects.

Additionally, Fuoss said studies show the use of natural light in the building will allow students to be “more aware of what they’re learning.”

Prior to the expansion, Nwacha said students were creating in “hallways and stairwells in alcoves and spaces that they were trying to carve out for themselves.”

“Artists typically engage in the space and adapt to the space and it’s better to have them adapt to a positive, strong consistent space instead of adapting to the back of a stairwell someplace,” Nwacha said.

Reaching beyond campus, Fuoss said Trivers used recycled content and construction materials from businesses within 500 miles of campus.


AIA Central States Citation Award of Excellence

The Central States Citation Award of Excellence gives SIUE “added exposure” in the five-state region (Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma) the AIA covers, according to Fuoss. To qualify for the award, Fuoss said architecture firms give presentations speaking to the safety and goals of the project, after which jurors determine the winners.

Part of SIUE’s goal, according to Fuoss, is to attract “the brightest and the best students that it can find” and the university recognized the Art and Design Building expansion as “something that needed to happen to keep attracting students.”

Fuoss said receiving the award shows “further commitment” to “create spaces that are desirable spaces for students and faculty to be in.”

“By having a building that can help facilitate that… I think really kind of speaks to their commitment to do good architectures,” Fuoss said. “For us an architecture firm, it’s a huge compliment. Being recognized by your peers and achieving something that’s quite significant across five states.”

Fuoss has been involved with the project for nearly the entire time and said it is amazing that SIUE has “an excellent arts program” and it is great to be involved in that.

“[Being an] architect is kind of [like being] a conductor of an orchestra…,” Fuoss said. “[Architects] pull everything together and kind of make music out of it. I feel like we’ve got a building that sings.”

The existing art building was designed in 1992 and is a “departure” from other campus buildings, which tend to have five-foot modules of glass, due to its red brick façade, according to Fuoss. In designing the expansion, Fuoss said the architects adapted features of the existing building with window panels created to look like the five-foot modules on other campus buildings.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: Art and Design

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site