The College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas is one of the largest art schools in the country and a major hub of innovation for the Dallas Fort Worth area. Space and infrastructural limitations within the existing building have forced the College to seek left over spaces across UNT's vast campus to house printmaking, fashion design, photography, ceramics and a wide range of digital media, design, art history and art education programs. This geographic dispersion of studios, workshops and classrooms has challenged the College's efforts to build a cohesive and cross disciplinary culture amongst its many strong departments.
Machado Silvetti worked closely with the faculty and staff of the College of Visual Arts and Design and the UNT Office of Facilities, Planning, Design and Construction to assess and advance programming for a state of the art new facility which will include renovations to their existing building and a major addition. The reconciliation of tightly controlled program area and budget constraints and the unique space and technical requirements of art production spaces required a series of difficult choices to be made during this process.
Recognizing that unification of the College was the single most important design mandate and sensitive to concerns that there would be segregation between programs located in old and new buildings, Machado Silvetti established the motto 'One College One Building'. Machado Silvetti proposed that renovated and new buildings should share a common structural grid and be organized around a central courtyard space that would be sized to hold the entire College of Visual Arts and Design student body for graduation and formal school ceremonies. To showcase student work and open the College to the public, this outdoor CVAD living room, and a new ground level cafe, will support a range of happenings from outdoor fashion shows to public art film screenings and student work installations.
As Design Architect, Machado Silvetti has advanced these concepts through the design and construction document phases and is supporting the project's Associate Architect, Corgan, during construction administration. New construction is currently scheduled to be finished in the Summer of 2018 with selective renovation work to continue through the Fall. Upon completion, the building, which is working for LEED Silver certification, will accommodate over two thousand students in a 220,000 square-foot facility that aspires to set a new standard in studio, workshop and teaching spaces for innovative and interdisciplinary arts and design education.