Diller Scofidio+Renfro for the WinnAgain


Aerial view of Stanford’s campus including Hoover Tower.
Waqas Mustafeez/Flickr

Diller Scofidio + Renfro has prevailed yet again. On Thursday, Stanford University announced that it had picked the firm to design a new 90,000 square foot arts structure: the Burton and Deedee McMurtry Building. No designs were released. Jhaelen Eli, the firm’s director of business development, said in an email, “We’re at the very beginning of the process, in the programming phase.” The price tag has also not yet been finalized, though the building’s namesakes have chipped in $30 million.

After sending out an RFQ last summer, Stanford chose the architects from a shortlist of 15 firms, which was narrowed down to two: DS+R and Ennead Architects. "Diller Scofidio + Renfro see themselves as artists, and that is particularly important at this moment on this campus," said Nancy Troy, chair of the department of art and art history.

The new building will house the university’s art and art history department, including programs in studio art, film and media studies, and documentary film, which are currently dispersed in various buildings across campus. The architects of record will be Boora Architects of Portland.


Ennead Architects’ Bing Concert Hall.
Courtesy Ennead Architects [+]

"One of the important goals was to bring all the programs together, but also to make sure that we had the very best facility that we could provide to move the arts forward on campus," said Matthew Tiews, executive director of arts programs at Stanford. The building is part of the Stanford Arts Initiative, a broader campaign to raise the university’s profile in the arts. The initiative has raised $250 million to date to bring in new faculty, programming, and buildings—including the Bing Concert Hall by Ennead Architects, currently under construction nearby.

Stanford's Cantor Art Center

Stanford’s Cantor Art Center.
Eszter Hargittai/Flickr [+]

DS+R comes to the project after receiving positive reviews for Brown University’s Creative Arts Center, a performing arts building with a 200-seat recital hall, which opened in February. In California DS+R was recently selected to design a new home for the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archives and was on the shortlist for SFMOMA’s expansion. They are also designing The Broad, Eli Broad’s new contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles. 

The new building will be located in back of the Cantor Art Center, Stanford’s art museum, and not far from the university’s most prominent work of modern architecture, the James H. Clark Center by Foster and Partners, completed in 2003. Groundbreaking for the DS+R building is expected to take place in 2012.

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