Construction to begin in Fine Arts Library to create spaces for AET and Design students

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Design rendering of fourth floor balcony in the Fine Arts Library.This summer, the Fine Arts Library will continue to transform its spaces to serve the needs of students in the College of Fine Arts and across the university.

In early May, contractors will demolish the book stacks and internal walls of the fourth floor of the Fine Arts Library to create large classrooms with adaptable technologies, a high-tech teaching lab, dedicated design studios, a state-of-the-art audio studio, seminar rooms and faculty offices for the Center for Arts and Entertainment Technologies (CAET) and the Center for Integrated Design (CID).

The College of Fine Arts is expanding its curricula to teach students innovation skills and design methodology for a fast-changing technological world. These fast-growing programs are straining the college’s existing facilities, and this partnership with the University of Texas Libraries will help create new spaces and equipment to help students achieve the next level in learning, research and teaching.

The renovation, which will be completed in time for the fall semester, includes the creation of two large classrooms that seat 48 students, a large seminar room that seats 26, a medium seminar rooms that seats 12 and two small seminar rooms that seat eight. One of the large classrooms will be specially equipped with iMacs and Cintiq tablets, theatre lighting and enhanced audio capabilities, and the room will be built with sound-reducing materials in the walls, floor and ceiling.

New offices for the faculty and staff in CID and CAET, as well as small AV (post-production) studio, will also be available. All the mechanical and lighting systems and bathrooms on the floor will also be replaced, and the grand staircase in the library will be enclosed at the top so that the fifth floor can remain a quiet study area.

Prior to the renovation, Libraries staff moved more than 100,000 books, bound journals and scores to offsite storage facilities, and moved all the remaining 195,000 items so that they would fit in the stacks on the fifth floor of the building. All the materials moved offsite are available on request within 48-72 hours from a library storage facility.

The project is the second involving the close collaboration of the University of Texas Libraries and the College of Fine Arts. In 2016, the college and library collaborated to build The Foundry, a maker space that opened to all UT students in September 2016.

The designer for both renovation projects is Harmony Edwards of Edwards + Mulhausen, and the architect Michael Cowan of Haddon + Cowan.

Image: Design rendering of fourth floor of Fine Arts Libraray courtesy of Edwards + Mulhausen.