The LSU College of Art & Design is thrilled to announce that the long-awaited renovation for the new Barnes Ogden Art & Design Complex is complete. Formerly the Studio Arts Building, the project, designed by Holly & Smith Architects and contracted by Ratcliff Constructors, transformed the historic building into a state-of-the art modern facility that incorporates functional art-making studio spaces while retaining historic charm.
“The completion of this renovation is a transformational moment in the life of our school. Students, faculty, and staff look forward to the second hundred years in the life of this building—now a world-class arts facility,” said Rod Parker, director of the LSU School of Art.
For years the building was used by the LSU School of Art for studio arts; now renovated, houses modernized facilities for the foundations, ceramics, printmaking, and sculpture programs, as well as offices and art & design galleries. In addition to a total interior reorganization to meet the needs of the school, the renovation provides significant upgrades to air conditioning and ventilation systems as well as a complete interior finish upgrade.
Formerly called the Old Engineering Shops, the Studio Arts Building began its life in 1923-1924, as the first completed of the nine other buildings designed by architect Theo C. Link as part of the original master plan for Louisiana State University. Because the existing building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a complete historic renovation was undertaken to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures.
Renovation plans were drawn by Holly & Smith Architects and have been ready for implementation since 2013. Holly & Smith Architects specializes in historic renovation and adaptive reuse as well as master planning and interiors. Industrial hygienist Monona Rossol, founder of ACTS (Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety), served as a consultant to the architects to ensure the renovation meets all current national health, safety, industrial, and OSHA standards.
School of Art Director Rod Parker said the completion of the renovation will make a huge difference in the school’s recruitment efforts to attract even greater numbers of outstandingly talented students and faculty. It will also allow the building to operate during the summer, creating opportunities for continuing education and offering students more access to the facilities they need to work.
“The building will become the gateway to the historic part of campus, connecting the old campus to the new,” said LSU College of Art & Design Dean Alkis Tsolakis. “A greater public building will make the LSU Sculpture Quad more accessible and promote arts to the community.”