Fine Arts Center

Architect: Naramore & Bain (NBBJ).

Designed in 1968, the building has a Brutalist aesthetic, popular for design buildings of the 1960s. A description of the aesthetic stated: “Combination [of] precast and cast-in-place concrete. Exposed concrete and indigenous brick, harmonious with existing campus buildings, to be used for exteriors and interiors. Mechanical ducts and pipes will be exposed to serve as teaching aids.”

Designed as three-story garage with three or four floors above it; Phase II called for a similar garage/classrooms addition attached to the south side (apparently never built). Occupied in December/January of 1970/1971. Built on a bowl, the upper portions were, in part, intended to extend the central campus further to the east. In 1988, a $2 million renovation of the non-parking floors rectified ventilation issues.

The George Laisner Sculpture Plaza was dedicated in 1980; the first art installed on the plaza was a Harold Balazs work, Tori Lantern, placed in 1979. The Washington State Arts Commission commissioned Buster Simpson’s PORTAL project in the plaza in the fall of 1999, completed in 2001.

Information from WSU Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections.

Black and white photo of the WSU Fine Arts Center.