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Claire Trevor School of the Arts cuts ribbon on new Contemporary Arts Center

UC Irvine’s new Gold LEED-certified facility brings together science and art

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: November 09, 2011 10:00 AM

This evening, UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts will celebrate the grand opening of a new Contemporary Arts Center. The event will include music from the school’s men’s chorale and string quartet, as well as exhibits and performances of students’ work from the School's various arts programs.

The $42.35 million building is set to become the new anchor of the 46-year-old arts school on the UCI campus, boasting state-of-the-art studios, lab spaces, and theater and design facilities for students and faculty, allowing them to create their projects using the latest and best technology and features available.

"We are not just commemorating the opening of a new UC Irvine building, but rather celebrating the transformative environment that the Contemporary Arts Center brings to the Claire Trevor School of the Arts,” said Dean Joseph Lewis III. “Its over-arching design and capabilities will keep this School and our students at the cusp of art, science and interdisciplinary research for many decades to come."

A key feature repeated throughout the new facility is the marriage of art and technology; the labs and studios at the new Center are equipped with some of the latest tech available, giving students the opportunity to create and experiment with design, media and sound equipment in producing their projects. A 2,000-square-foot performance capture studio is equipped with a 28-camera motion capture system, green screen and 3-D production capabilities, and one of the most advanced systems belonging to any university dance department in the world, while the Meyer Sound Design Studio is outfitted with the latest audio equipment, provided by Meyer Sound Laboratories Inc. The Center’s costume shop is equipped to allow students to create their own custom textiles, a unique feature of the Claire Trevor School; it is only theater costume design program in the country that has that capability.

The 59,000-square-foot facility, designed by award-winning Culver City architectural firm Erlich Associates and built by Edge Construction of Temecula, earned a Gold-level LEED certification, a certifying body of the U.S. Green Building Council. The Leadership in Environmental and Engineering Design rating system grades new and existing buildings on environmentally friendly design and construction methods, taking into account factors such as low-emitting materials, use of natural daylight, indoor air quality, use of regional materials, water efficient landscaping and recycling of construction waste. Gold certification is the second-highest grade a structure can achieve.

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