The university announced plans for the new Tyler School of Art building, which will herald the school’s move to Main Campus in 2008. The building, to be designed by Carlos Jimenez, will be located at 12th and Norris streets.
The project is slated for completion for the winter of 2007 and Tyler is anticipating an opening for the fall of 2008, said Tyler Assistant Dean for Admissions Carmina Ciancuilli. The three-story facility with will comprise 255,000 square feet of classroom, studio and gallery space and is to cost $75 million, according to The Temple Times.
Jimenez, of Carlos Jimenez Studio in Houston, is renowned for his education facilities.
“He told us how much respect he has for Tyler and I have so much personal respect for him … I think his sensibility to art facilities will meet Tyler’s needs,” Ciancuilli said.
Likewise, Associate Dean of architecture and art history Brigitte Knowles said, “My first impression was his sensitivity to the issues of the site, and the issues of the school. [Jimenez] is an extremely sensitive person, with no preconceived ideas for the project and sensitive to all the conditions.”
Knowles hopes through Jimenez there will “emerge a solution that will be compatible to the Temple community and the Philadelphia community and most importantly to the students.”
Tyler’s move will bring almost 800 students to Main Campus. Cianciulli said that, “the university is well aware that there is going to be a body of students that will need housing and the way the university has been working is to create a partnership with the community like they have done at the Kardon-Atlantic Terminal building and at Oxford Village. But the great thing is that Temple is so accessible to the surrounding area.”
“We have three or four years till Tyler gets here, and we’re working on it,” said Chief Communications Officer Mark Eyerly of the housing issue.
The building’s placement has not been finalized, but it will be located at 12th and Norris streets.
“We haven’t made a decision on whether we will use the empty lot or the parking lot; we will do what is best for the community and what the architect thinks is best. We are continuously meeting with the community to discuss a variety of issues involving the university,” Eyerly said.
Considering that the structure is to be built on existing university property, Cianciulli sees the building as a great enhancement not only for the Temple, but also for the community.
“I think the Elkins Park community has been enhanced by Tyler’s being here; there are a number of community projects,” Cianciulli said. “I think that the new building will be a vibrant addition to the surrounding community and our students are not only talented and creative but also service-oriented. These are artists who are anxious to be of service and also to connect to their environment.”
The building is to include public gallery spaces for the viewing of students’ work, Ciancuilli said. She added that even now Tyler has a variety of things for the community in Elkins Park and in Philadelphia.
“Terry Putscher, director of Continuing Education, is working on community outreach programs and community projects,” and Tyler will continue to further the program that offers noncredit classes to the community for fun, Cianculli said.
Currently, Ciancuilli does not believe the university has decided what will happen to Elkins Park once Tyler leaves, but Ciancuilli said “it will be a complex decision because of the number of parties involved in that decision.”
“[Jimenez] will design Tyler’s signature building in a joint venture with H2L2 Architects/Planners, a Philadelphia-based firm specializing in the design of academic buildings,” according to The Temple Times. He has designed academic buildings at DePauw University, Williams College and the Glassnell Junior School of Art. Jimenez is a tenured professor at Rice University’s School of Architecture.
Josh Chamberlain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.