Construction of Ohio State Arts District progresses, building expected to be completed in April

Architectural rendering of the Ohio State Arts District which includes the Timashev Family Music Building and the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts Building. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State University.

Arts students across Ohio State will soon have a new neighborhood to settle in as construction continues on two new Arts District buildings.

Located between 15th and 18th Avenues, the $165.3 million project includes the creation of the Timashev Family Music Building and the new Theater, Film and Media Arts Department Building, as well as the renovation and expansion of the current music school at Weigel Hall. said university spokesman Dan Hedman.

Ratmir Timashev, an Ohio State 1996 alumnus and CEO of Veeam Software, provided $17 million for the College of Arts and Sciences construction project, according to Ohio State News.

Construction of the Timashev Family Music Building began in June 2019 and is expected to be complete and ready for classes and programming by this fall. The as-yet-unnamed Department of Theatre, Film and Media Arts building is scheduled to open in February 2023, according to the Arts District of the College of Arts and Sciences. website.

“The idea is that all arts units will be in close proximity to each other,” said Lisa Florman, associate dean of interdisciplinary studies and community engagement at the College of Arts and Sciences. “Sharing spaces will foster collaborations and catalyze interactions that can, you know, make us more than the sum of our parts.”

The Timashev Family Music Building will be adjacent to the newly renovated Weigel Hall, located at 1866 College Road, to create a combined 96,000 square foot music school. Hughes Hall — the current music school counterpart of Weigel Hall — will soon be decommissioned, but not demolished, from now on, Florman said.

Arved Ashby, professor of musicology at the School of Music since 1995, said he had taught primarily at Hughes Hall, but would soon be moving to the Timashev Family Music Building.

“I’m just thrilled to be working in a building fit for purpose,” Ashby said. “Hughes Hall was not built for musicians, and its most basic problems are structural—unsolvable. I know I will be spending a lot more time in the new building than in Hughes.

The new five-story building will include classrooms, studios, offices, and recording and performance spaces. The two buildings of the School of Music will be connected by a common hall, according to the College of Arts and Sciences Arts District Page.

Specific design details have been done to ensure efficient sound spaces that aim to prevent sound from traveling while maintaining strong acoustics, and Florman said each room is designed to be as soundproof as possible.

“It was really designed for the sound to reverberate as much and ideally as possible at the same time,” Florman said. “There’s what the architects have called box-in-box construction, so each room has sort of two walls and two stories with something like a quarter or half inch of space in between that maintains the sound.”

After construction began in November 2020, the 100,000 square foot Department of Theatre, Film and Media Arts building is 40% complete as of March 17, according to Ohio State Arts District Updates. The new five-story building will replace the Drake Performance and Event Center, which is located at 1849 Cannon Drive and will be demolished around 2023, Hedman said.

The Department of Theatre, Film and Media Arts building will house a lighting lab, design studio, costume shop and a new works lab for experimental projects, according to the College of Arts and Sciences Arts District Page. Similarly, film students will have access to two sound stages, editing suites, a sound lab and a screening room. Performance spaces will include a 450-seat proscenium theater and a hybrid push and black box theater.

The Timashev Family Music Building and the Department of Theatre, Film and Media Arts building will be close to each other, with a connecting outdoor plaza and a single ticket office to make them feel like one. cohesive block, said Florman.

“I prefer the term ‘the arts center,'” Florman said. “In my opinion, a neighborhood is something autonomous, whereas the image of a hub suggests rays that radiate, in this case, through the campus and into the community. That’s very much the vision for the arts at Ohio State that I’m trying to help promote. And I think these two new buildings will go a long way towards that.

Not only are the buildings meant to be visually connected, but people using the spaces are meant to feel a sense of uniformity, Ashby said. With all art mediums having facilities in the same general region, connections between artists and audiences can be better developed, he said.

“It will help to have theater people and musicians close enough now that we can actually greet and wave to each other through our windows. These proximities will at least make us feel ashamed to talk to each other and work together more often and more closely,” Ashby said. “At the same time, we hope the new facilities will be more welcoming to the public and entice them to attend more events.”

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