We had three truly excellent presentations on April 3 by the three finalists in our search for an architect for the Institute of the Arts and Sciences. We were in the Surf Room of the Dream Inn, with around 150 people on hand to hear Tod Williams and Billie Tsien (of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects), Brad Cloepfil (the founder and principal of Allied Works Architecture), and John and Patricia Patkau (of Patkau Architects, who teamed up with Fong & Chan Architecture of San Francisco). It was a memorable evening, and a huge step forward in the Institute's trajectory. Arts Dean David Yager welcomed us, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal gave a wonderful introduction to the evening, the Dean spoke again about the nature of the Institute and our plans, and then each team gave a 30-minute overview of their ideas.
Everyone on hand could perceive the depth of the architects' design intelligence, thoughtfulness, and their evident respect for the complex nature of our landscape site and the ambitious dimensions of the Institute's educational program. Yet each of the three concepts was dramatically different in approach, look, and feel. After the presentations concluded, I wrapped up the evening with thanks to the architects, brief comments, and then served as emcee for a lively question and answer period. Despite running a good fifteen minutes overtime, we had far more comments, questions, and responses than we could handle. The sketches and models created by the architects were all on view, and spirited conversations continued until nearly 9pm after the formal program ended. I am thrilled and energized by what we saw and heard, and by the public response.
Earlier that day, the selection jury that will advise UCSC Campus Architect John Barnes on the selection met individually for two hours with each of the architectural teams. That gave us a chance to interrogate their ideas and concepts, discussing everything from their ideas about materials and pedestrian flow, to options for saving water, energy, and how to light these three very different potential structures. As each team stressed, what they were presenting was certainly not a finished building design—after all, they only had four weeks to generate what they showed us—but a set of visual concepts and principles showing how they would go about producing one.
In the Future Building section of our website, we will soon be posting more detailed information about the architect search selection process and the many factors the University will take into account in making a final decision. We will also post a selection of images from the architects' presentations, with their design concepts and ideas about how to approach this job. I encourage you to check back soon if you're interested. This will be exciting.
Click HERE for a link to more information on the selection process and images of the design concepts.