Visual Arts Building

Floor plans of the ground level
Floor plans of the ground level of the National accessArts Centre (DIALOG)

As the largest building on the site, ongoing Indefinite Arts Centre programming is housed within the Visual Arts Building of the National accessArts Centre site. This building is constructed around the existing Fairview Community Hall. The ground floor is connected by continuous circulation outboard of the existing hall. Within the hall, all non-structural interior walls have been removed to reveal large continuous social spaces.

Architectural rendering of the new entry area of the Visual Arts Building
Architectural rendering of the new entry area of the Visual Arts Building (DIALOG)

A new entrance brings visitors directly into the existing hall. Visitors are greeted by a reception area immediately across from the entry vestibule. A new, oversized elevator is front-and-centre; a generous open-air platform transports people and materials between the three floors of the Visual Arts Building. The elevator sits within an opening in the floor plate which previously linked the Optimist Gallery to the lobby space above.

A large lunch room, equipped with an artists’ kitchen, is just beyond the elevator. Here lunchtime lectures are hosted by Indefinite’s artists for their colleagues. Lockers provide all participants with a safe a secure place to store their belongings for the day.

The studio space is accessed by a light-filled corridor to the west of the lunch room. Exterior walls of the existing hall are now interior gallery walls adorned with work-in-progress pieces by Indefinite’s artists. A double height studio space opens up to the north of the hall. A huge picture window provides expansive views to the landscape north of the site. Every space within the studio has access to this view. Indirect natural light is captured and directed into the space through light scoops lining the roof.

An exterior door in the northwest corner connects the studio space to a protected exterior terrace. Creative sessions can easily flow outdoors in the spring, summer and fall.

Architectural rendering of the new open studio space in the VIsual Arts Building
Architectural rendering of the new open studio space within the Visual Arts Building (DIALOG)

Work stations are set up to accommodate different media types: from painting to drawing, textiles to ceramics. A small kiln room sits in the NE corner of the studio. Mobile partitions store small scale materials. Large canvases are supported by in-floor easels, which retract and expand to set the canvas height appropriate to the artist. Artist pin-up space, inboard of the structural columns, is available throughout.

Immediately above the studio space is a large volume housing second floor IAC administration. Beneath this volume, a lower ceiling height offers a protected space for making. The lower ceiling has the benefit of acoustic dampening, and suspends a rigging system for cords, lighting and other elements.

Two quiet studio rooms are nested within the north end of the existing hall, immediately south of the open studio space. Operable doors allow these spaces to be closed off from the rest of the studio, creating quiet working environments for individual artists or small groups.

Gender neutral washrooms line the west corridor. A long ramp links the studio space to the lower level entry. Above the south end of the ramp is a dedicated artist-in-residence studio. An intimate, casual reading room adjacent to the artist-residence space supports conversations between artists.

The south end of the existing hall hosts a commercial kitchen. Food is prepared in the kitchen as part of catering services for events hosted throughout the site. This is also where café provisions are prepared. The existing small service elevator is used for BOH circulation.

A second gallery hall, immediately south of reception, is fully visible from the adjacent outdoor patio.