Ruth Taylor Art & Music Building
Trinity University

For the renovation of Ruth Taylor Art & Music Center, portions of four distinct existing structures were gutted and/or selectively demolished to make way for the creation of a new, unified, single building.  New concrete structures tie into relocated existing lift-slab concrete floors to make each floor level throughout the building. Muñoz & Co.’s design for the new building also maintains a beautiful existing courtyard to the north and preserves as much of the established mature landscaping as possible.

A dramatic, sky-lit, three-story lobby with balconies at the upper levels and vertical glass slots at the north and south façades makes a striking first impression as one enters the building, and knits together and organizes the three wings of the building.  The west wing houses the Music Department, and classrooms, faculty offices, and practice facilities occupy the three floors of this wing.  Isolated floors, special wall construction, and carefully engineered mechanical systems minimize sound transmission from room to room and prevent unwanted extraneous sound from entering the rooms.

An existing Concert Hall at the east end of the lobby was enhanced with an expanded back-of-house area that includes dressing rooms, additional instrument storage, and a freight elevator for moving large instruments from the existing parking lot below.  The pre-function area for the concert hall opens to a tree-covered, red wood deck overlooking a large existing lawn in a secluded yard on the campus.  In addition, a stage expansion nearly doubles the size of the original performance area, while new lighting and sound equipment bring the facility technologically up to date.

The Art Department is located in the three-story north wing of the building.  A gallery at the south end of the first level, which opens onto the Concert Hall pre-function space, displays recent student work.  The first floor houses art studios that open onto a work patio used for processes that are best performed outdoors.  In addition, a series of north facing saw-tooth clerestory windows flood the third floor painting and drawing studios with natural light.  A glass wall separates these studios from an east facing balcony that is shaded by a series of large existing oak trees.  This balcony also serves as outdoor work space for the art studios.

The building’s exterior takes its cues from the existing buildings on campus.  The scale of the new structure provides a transition from the campus’ original low-slung buildings to the recently completed main administration building.  Trinity red brick is the primary exterior material and deep sunshades protect the extensive glazing on the south façade.

– Merit Award; San Antonio Chapter of the AIA, 2008

San Antonio, Texas

Trinity University

$16.4 Million

SIZE: 68,982 SF


April 2006

Prime Architect

Full service architectural and interior design services.

James G. Sterner, AIA, LEED AP

Geoffrey S. Edwards, AIA, LEED AP

Geoffrey S. Edwards, AIA, LEED AP

MEP: Silber & Associates, Inc.
Structural: Lundy & Franke Engineering, Inc.
Civil: Coyle Engineering, Inc.
Telecomm: Datacom Design Group
Acoustics: WJHW, Inc.
Cost: Busby & Associates, Inc.
Landscape: Laffoon & Associates

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