International Design Competition for the University of Virginia Center for the Arts

This international competition is open to teams of architects, designers, and landscape architects. An Information Session will be held on July 18, and the RFQ is due on July 29. The shortlist will be announced in August 2005, when the contracts for concepts and RFP will also be issued. The RFP is due in October, and contract negotiations will occur in November. Four teams will receive $75,000 to develop the designs; the winner will be given the commission.

The new Center for the Arts at the University of Virginia will be a signature feature of the grounds and will elevate its programs in the fine and performing arts. The complex will encompass two major programs – a new art museum and a new performance center – and will serve as a gateway to the University and the City of Charlottesville.

The complex will be a short walk from the new John Paul Jones Arena, the University libraries, the expanded Carr’s Hill Arts Grounds and the historic Academical Village, designed by Thomas Jefferson. The area surrounding the intersection of Emmet Street and Ivy Road, where the Center will be located, will be extensively renovated and landscaped to create a new sense of arrival. Officials anticipate that the Center for the Arts will foster collaboration across disciplines, enabling students, faculty, residents and visitors to enjoy the University’s arts programs.

The new Art Museum is integral to the University of Virginia’s academic curricula and interdisciplinary initiatives, and provides cultural resources for the community. The facility will enable the museum to display a larger percentage of the 10,000-piece collection and to host nationally touring exhibitions. A sculpture garden will take advantage of natural features in the adjacent restored wetland. New classroom, studio, technology and volunteer areas will allow the museum to expand its educational programs.

The new performance center will house a 1,600-seat concert hall for touring theater shows, dance companies, a major guest-artist series and other performances including events by artists-in-residence. The facility also will contain two smaller and more flexible performance spaces available for use by the Art Museum, the Drama Department and other arts entities, as well as rehearsal and storage facilities for the marching and concert bands.

Within the Center for the Arts, the Art Museum and the Performance Center will share public areas and support facilities, including a central lobby, caf, a bookstore, Visitors’ Center, terraces, loading and storage areas. Long-term plans include a Phase II expansion of the museum for special collections. Adjacent University and University Foundation land is being considered for additional housing and academic building related to the arts.

For more information on the competition, please visit or contact David J. Neuman at (434)924-6015.