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Eastern Fine Arts Instructional Center Recognized for Architectural Excellence

The new Fine Arts Instructional Center (FAIC) at Eastern Connecticut State University, home to the visual and performing arts programs, has received an honor award by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)/AIA-CAE for Excellence in Architecture for a New Building. The 119,000-SF facility, completed in April 2016, was designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. of Boston, along with The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) as Architect of Record.  The SCUP Excellence in Architecture Awards, in partnership with the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education (AIA-CAE), is a juried competition.  The award promotes comprehensive campus design that incorporate strategic and integrated planning resulting in exemplary buildings, campus grounds, institutional success and careers that inspire.

The new $62 million FAIC capitalizes on the high-performance building design to create a welcoming venue, bringing fine arts to the University’s everyday life and the city of Willimantic.  The facility combines teaching, performance and exhibit space for the Performing Arts, Art and Art History Departments. The Center also features several general-purpose classrooms and three performance venues:

- A 400-seat concert hall/auditorium, tailored to music performances with natural acoustic excellence, also serving as a major gathering place for the campus community, including convocations and lectures;
- A 250-seat proscenium theatre that provides a venue for theater performances on campus, allowing for proscenium theater training for students in the major;
- A flexible 125-seat studio/black box theater located off the main lobby”.

The center also has an art gallery that provides a signature space for rotating exhibits from Eastern’s permanent art collection, outside artists, student and faculty work. With its mix of performance venues, art gallery and instructional spaces, and its modern aesthetic, the FAIC gives Eastern an opportunity to present itself to the broader community through the enhanced presence of the fine arts on campus.

A fully integrated, multi-disciplinary architecture firm, The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) has a national presence in higher education projects in medicine and health professions, engineering, technology and liberal arts institutions. SLAM has recently completed noteworthy projects with clients from the University of Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, Duke University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Tennessee, Rutgers University and the University of Cincinnati, among others.  SLAM offers architecture, programming, planning, interior design, landscape architecture and site planning, structural engineering and construction services that focus on various market sectors. SLAM is located at 80 Glastonbury Boulevard, Glastonbury, CT and has additional offices in Atlanta, Syracuse and Boston. For more information, please visit or call 860-657-8077.

William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. ( formed in 1983 in Boston. The firm has won twelve National Honor Awards from the national American Institute of Architects, placing it among the top half-dozen firms nationally in the number of such awards received. In 2009, William Rawn Associates was ranked Number 1 on ARCHITECT Magazine’s list of the nation’s Top 50 architecture firms and is the only firm to have placed in the top 6, 6 of the last 8 years. The firm has completed a large number of projects, ranging from complex urban and civic buildings to college campuses, performing arts facilities and affordable housing.