Art and Design Building Wins Award

Posted: September 17, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: September 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm

By Catherine Ferraro

The Art and Design Building. Photo by Nicolas Tan

Mason’s Art and Design Building was awarded the Honor Award for Design Excellence in the 2010 Fairfax County Exceptional Design Awards Program.

The awards program recognizes outstanding achievement in the total design of a building and the site to create awareness of superior planning and design projects.

Home to the School of Art, the 88,000-square-foot building opened in October 2009. It provides ample space for all of the art and visual technology studio instructional areas, including painting and drawing, digital arts, sculpture, graphic design, photography, printmaking and interdisciplinary arts.

The three-story, warehouse-style structure serves nearly 400 majors in the School of Art. The building includes art studio spaces, galleries, computer classrooms, faculty offices and general education classrooms. The building also includes an exterior sculpture courtyard and outdoor working areas.

With its industrial materials and muted colors, exterior and interior displays of art stand out. The building’s flexible design allows studio spaces to be reconfigured to facilitate various teaching methods. Loft-like spaces, large floor-to-ceiling windows and adjustable lighting provide backdrops for art and opportunities for creativity to emerge.

The Art and Design Building is the final piece of the Fairfax Campus’ Creative Quadrangle, which includes research and engineering buildings and is designed to facilitate cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Designed by Ayres Saint Gross, a Baltimore, Md.-based architecture firm specializing in campus planning and university facility design, the building previously received a top award in the category of new campus designs from the Baltimore Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu