University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center — Restoring a Beloved Multidisciplinary Arts Center

Fayetteville, AR
In Progress
Type: Academic / Arts / Adaptive Reuse
Theme: Transforming Old Buildings

Project EUI

reduction in energy use compared to the AIA 2030 baseline

TenBerke, along with Miller Boskus Lack Architects, is restoring the University of Arkansas’ beloved Fine Arts Center. Originally designed by native Arkansan Edward Durell Stone, the 1951 structure was the first multidisciplinary arts building in the U.S., folding theatre, dance, music, painting, sculpture, and architecture under one roof. As a pathbreaking building in both pedagogy and design, the Fine Arts Center catalyzed the arts at U of A, garnering international praise. More than 70 years on from its inception, the well-used building thrums at the heart of a bustling artistic community as Northwest Arkansas has become a regional and national hub for the arts. The architecture is celebrated as an important example of International Style Modernism in the US, yet the aging structure called out to be adapted and revitalized to meet the needs of the present and future. Our design aims to restore the building’s original vision and re-establish the Fine Arts Center as a vibrant and flexible creative crossroads on campus and beyond.

Ultimately, the project restores and transforms at multiple scales: at the urban scale, by reconnecting to the surrounding campus; at the architectural scale, by restoring visual connectivity and flow throughout core indoor and outdoor spaces; and at the scale of the body, through the refinement of furnishings, materials, and acoustics. In uncovering the original design intent and its affirmation of integrated arts practice, the project aims to update the Fine Arts Center for contemporary needs and steward the arts well into the future.

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Design Architect and Interior Designer

Miller Boskus Lack
Architect of Record

Ground Control
Landscape Architect

Theater, Acoustics, AV

Tillotson Design Associates

Structural Engineer

HSA Engineering

Civil Engineer

Wiss, Janney, Elstner
Envelope / Historic Preservation

Cost Estimating

Context & Drawings