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Sam Houston State University

Hoyt Art Complex

The bold design establishes a strong identity for the arts program.

Prized north light shines through the glass curtainwalls illuminating studio art classrooms while terra cotta and brick on surrounding walls keep out the glare and add to the campus aesthetic. The new building, located on the eastern edge of campus, creates an arts district with the adjacent Music, Performing Arts and University Theatre buildings. It replaces an underutilized commuter parking lot and creates spaces for outdoor learning, a sculpture garden and the reintroduction of native plants and grasses to the site. It creates density and adds visual interest, making the arts district more human-scaled and walkable.

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Exposing students to career paths in the arts.

Traditional and digital art students co-locate to inform each other’s creative processes and introduce students to different career paths. First year students are placed at the center of the complex in order to learn from all of the creative endeavors surrounding them. Large open spaces invite informal gatherings and encourage curiosity among everyone on campus.

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WASH is the foundation for arts education.

Occupying a double-height space on the ground floor is the University’s immersive WASH (Workshop in Art Studio and History) program. A requirement for all first-year arts students, this program forms the literal and figurative foundation for arts education at the University.

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Art safety was the leading driver of the design.

The studio art spaces focus on the safe and healthy practice of art through curriculum planning and extensive ventilation measures tailored to the activity. This helps introduce art safety to students early on and helps them build their skills and their careers through the lens of safety and health.

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