Fouts Center for Visual Arts, Whitman College
We asked for clean, light-filled, maintainable, airy spaces. They gave us all of that, and wrapped those spaces in a visually stunning arrangement of material, form, and light.
Associate Professor of Art, Whitman College
Walla Walla, Washington
Create an innovative facility for creating and inspiring art, and for projecting that creative energy into the life of the larger Whitman community. Mitigate the impact of toxic art processes, and give students control of natural light to support a variety of art disciplines.
The Fouts Center embraces its site, connects to the greater campus, and elevates the presence of art. Inspired by its function as a center for artists, the architecture itself provides a teaching opportunity; the building's construction is left visually accessible for students to consider from a conceptual and artistic point of view. The building connects with the social heart of campus to complete a new outdoor gathering space where artists can work alongside a creek, sheltered from campus traffic. Inside the studios, design decisions were viewed through the lens of health and safety, with the building serving as a model for safety standards in the arts.