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  • Leslie Lyon, Director of Public Affairs, College of Fine Arts, (512) 475-7033

Lake | Flato Selected as Architects for Visual Arts Center

The University of Texas at Austin announced in March that the San Antonio-based architecture firm Lake | Flato was chosen to create an innovative renovation of the Department of Art and Art History's Visual Arts Center (VAC). The VAC will occupy the space formerly known as the Huntington Gallery that also housed The Blanton Museum. Renovations will begin mid–2008.

The VAC will serve as a flexible, interdisciplinary, educational environment for Art History, Design, Studio Art, and Visual Art Studies/Art Education. It will create the department's first centralized community spaces, allowing faculty, alumni, and the public to join students as they present groundbreaking research in art and art history.

Part of a successful student journey needs to include spaces for exhibitions, outreach, research, and community. Adding over 22,000 square feet of space to the department, the VAC will provide a home for: student exhibitions, faculty exhibitions, lectures, symposia, Summer AP teacher workshops, visiting artist and alumni exhibitions, the Maya Meetings at Texas, student internships, K–12 arts discovery programs, independent study courses, and much more. Located on the first floor of the Art building, the VAC will be prominently placed to serve not only as the front entrance to the building, but as the hub of creative, academic and social life for students.

This will not be the first UT project for Lake | Flato, as the firm's work is evident in the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin and the Nursing Building at UT Houston.

Harry Ransom Center, UT Austin.

Harry Ransom Center, UT Austin.
Photo: Lake | Flato Architects

UT Houston School of Nursing.

UT Houston School of Nursing.
Photo: Lake | Flato Architects

Established in 1984, Lake | Flato Architects has gained national recognition for architecture that is rooted to its place and successfully merges with the landscape. In collaboration with their clients, Lake | Flato creates buildings that are tactile and modern, environmentally responsible and authentic, artful and crafted.

Lake | Flato has received wide critical acclaim. The American Institute of Architects selected Lake | Flato as the Firm of the Year in 2004. In 2006, Lake | Flato was the only firm to have two projects selected as Top Ten Green Projects by the AIA Committee on the Environment. In all, Lake | Flato's work has been recognized with 37 national awards (including the AIA's Honor Award in 1992, 1997, 1999 and 2007) and 118 state and regional awards.