Architects HGW | Hanna Gabriel Wells | Mesa College Fine Arts Building

Mesa College Fine Arts Building

San Diego, California
USGBC - LEED Silver Certification
2020 Orchid Award
San Diego Architectural Foundation Orchids & Onions Program

This renovation of an existing Science and Administration Building as a new home for the Mesa College Fine Arts Department started with a single voice within the San Diego Community College District saying, “We should keep this building.”

Terracing down a hillside at the edge of campus, this four-story concrete building offers a campus connection at the fourth floor, and  a community connection to the arrival plaza at the first floor. The translucent building façade provides a view into the Fine Arts program animating the building and spotlighting students at work. The extensive glazing  provides natural daylight into the studios. At each floor, studio terraces provide opportunities for outdoor art instruction and interaction that extends the art program into the campus.

Super graphics were added to the exterior façade to differentiate the Art Building from other campus buildings.  The Art Gallery is placed on the first floor to take advantage of the arrival plaza for art exhibits and cultural events.  The program also includes painting, drawing, ceramics and sculpture studios with wood and metal shops, as well as digital arts and new genres studios with computer labs.

Multiple illuminated or glazed walls throughout the project have been designated as “art walls” where students have the opportunity display and change the art periodically or view the art process inside the studios.