University of Nevada-Reno Unveils New Arts Building

RENO, Nev. — February 22 marked a day of celebration at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), with faculty, administrators, students and community members gathering to hail the grand opening of the University Arts Building, a facility that enhances the presence of the arts on campus and in the surrounding Northern Nevada community.

DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky’s design responds to rising student enrollment and growing interest in the arts, and furnishes much-needed space for UNR’s new and expanded arts programs.

The new University Arts Building expands the existing Church Fine Arts Complex, originally opened in 1962, and connects the two facilities into a seamless arts complex via a skywalk. The entrance showcases a multi-tiered lobby that joins the plaza, street, and bridge levels into a multilayered setting to present art, music and performance. DLR Group|WRL’s design utilizes the topography of the site in the heart of campus to create an active outdoor area that connects campus pedestrian walkways.

“UNR is known as a vibrant arts campus. This new facility solidifies the University’s commitment to the arts by not only adding a special venue to elevate performances and education of the arts, but also providing a building designed to expose the rest of campus to these wonderful activities within,” said DLR Group|WRL Principal Peter Rutti, AIA. “The University Arts Building will be home to world-class performances and major exhibitions the entire community can enjoy.”

Highlights of the new venue include a 287-seat recital hall, a unique electro acoustic composition lab for digital music production, recording studio, digital fabrication lab blending art and music disciplines, additional rehearsal and practice rooms, faculty offices and studios, and the University Art Museum. The electro acoustic composition lab features octophonic sound, with eight speakers positioned around the room that can work in unison or function independently to support the creation and performance of music.

“The breadth and depth of our campus continues to grow,” University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson said. “The University Arts Building is an excellent example of the high level of energy and quality we have for our College of Liberal Arts, the School of the Arts and our University.” 

Funding for the $35.5 million building is a combination of private philanthropy gifts and University monies.

DLR Group is an integrated design firm delivering architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, and building optimization for new construction, renovation and adaptive reuse.