A building where art and music should be conceived as a pluralistic context; a meeting place, a destination, a reference motivator, and especially, an inspiring space.
The Arts Center project underwent numerous revisions and refinements of its content and curriculum, over several years, before arriving at its final design. The resultant building has an interesting dual relationship, where the first floor is used for music and dance, and the second floor for more plastic arts. The two levels (and programmatic areas) are linked by a generous open-air (covered) grand staircase-hall-gallery that articulates itself simultaneously as a meeting, performance and exhibition space.
The architectural objective of the Arts Center was to develop a building that seamlessly integrates into the schools campus (pattern and function ability), working the materiality that characterizes the existing classroom buildings, with a more current aesthetic and spatiality.
In connection with the Campus and the existing Master Plan, the building is positioned as the seed of a second “quadrant” or central green space, to be accompanied (and completed) by future buildings. This generous new common area, or second quad, continues to celebrate the wonderful condition of the College Green, with clusters of native trees and paths, defining a square that generates the buildings entrance.
Brick was chosen as the predominant material as the Arts Center sought to integrate with the existing classroom buildings, with the Zapan wood of the central staircase and painted tubes (red, orange and yellow) of the upper facade completing the buildings external palette. The orchestra classrooms (which open into a single performance space) required particular acoustical management; the entire space finished in wood – floor, walls and ceilings – with a percentage of sound absorption panels (also utilized in other music rooms). The white walls and generous sky lights of the Art rooms maximize natural light levels.
With the support of an interdisciplinary professional team, sustainability and comfort levels were implemented as key design elements. For example, in the music rooms, which were required to be sealed for acoustic reasons, an input system for natural air convection was developed (using an acoustic pipeline) injecting air through ceiling.
In detail, the building contains the following spaces: on the first floor, a dance studio, two music rooms, five test cubicles (one of which is a recording studio), and two artists studios (catering for a musician and a painter). In addition, each music room has a generous storage space, for instruments and props. The first floor also contains a lounge divisible to work with materials, and a performance hall for 200 people. On the second floor there are seven rooms for various artistic (physical) activities: including a pottery room (with an oven), a room for learning 3D industrial design, a room for engraving/painting room, two drafting rooms and a photographic room (featuring a darkroom), as well as music rooms. These spaces also have generous storage space to maintain order and care of the materials used/made and the classrooms themselves.Daniel Bonilla Arquitectos
Design team: Daniel Bonilla, Andrés Gutiérrez, Adriana Hernández, David Kita, Rodrigo Montoya, Juliana Lozano, Mauricio Patiño, Cristian Echeverría, Vanessa Vásquez, Sebastián Chica, Melissa Betancourt.
Constructor: Exacta Proyecto Total
Covered area: 1576 m2
Date of construction: 2009
Photographs: Sergio Gómez