Stanford University is paving the way for the future of the role of art at the university level with the construction of a drop-in studio and performing arts space at its Roble Gym. Dubbed the “art gym,” the university’s former athletics facility will soon be home to new studios, art storage, a green screen, and a performance space.
Palo Alto-based architecture firm Cody Anderson Wasney is spearheading the design of the multi-purpose space, expected to be completed in early 2016. The art gym is part of a campus-wide initiative to increase the creative culture and visibility of the arts on campus.
In an interview with Stanford Daily, Matthew Tiews, the executive director of the arts program at the university, noted that many people wanted a communal creative space that was easily accessible to the entire student body. “There was a real desire for a drop-in creative space where students could come, just swipe their ID, get in and have a space to make work, rehearse, and perform in,” Tiews said.
As the initiative begins to restructure campus culture with new faculty members, new curriculum additions, and new facilities, Stanford is slowly redefining its reputation as simply a science and technology-centric university. In addition to the construction of the art gym, the university has introduced a new requirement for all undergraduates to take a class in the arts.